Wishing one and all a very happy Pongal!!!
This year for Pongal, I just want to sulk in a corner, reminiscing about my childhood experiences with this festival!!
Read about my four day long childhood pongal celebrations here. I know every year, I torture my readers with this post written two years ago but I am not able to get enough of it. Every time I read it, I travel back to those days with moist in my eyes..
Start from part 1 of you are interested and could spare time to read.
The house, where my paternal grandparents lived and we celebrated Pongal every single year until I started my work is now empty with the last grandma bidding adieu to this world last month!
There, I have witnessed one of my ancestral generation living life to the fullest to being nothing today!! The flesh and blood that I knew and lived with are now second level ancestors to my children. I stand as the only connection between them!!
Not that I don’t think of them often, but today the memories are gushing out more than any other day and thoughts are refusing to move forward neither I want to! I want to live this day with their memories!!
Some excerpts from the pongal post:
Every home will have a black mark or a small cut in front of the house that will be dug along the marked lines to the depth of 2 or 3 feets. This will be used along with firewood and charcoals to cook pongal for the next three days. New mud pot with turmeric plant tied around will be used for cooking. Stirrer will be the half part of empty coconut shell attached to medium sized stick. As milk comes to boiling state and overflows we all will start
saying shouting pongal-o-pongal and grandma will add required rice (new rice) to the milk.
-There will be no digging in front of the house to cook Pongal this year!
After the pooja and kowtowing grandpa will walk around the house calling out loud for crow and sprinkling the pongal in a bowl on top of the roof for the crows to eat. We will follow him by hitting a plate with stick, making maximum noise and shouting out to the fullest as “pongal-o-pongal”.
– No noise, no shouting or no pongal-o-pongal around our house!
Maatu Pongal – Next comes the interesting and my favorite part, in a half broken dry coconut shell each of us will hold oil, segakkai, water, turmeric paste, kumkum, garlands and pongal in the same order and visit the cattle. As it will be past evening the first and bravo one will hold chimney lamp and we will follow him in a row. All the above said items will be applied on the forehead of the cows/bullocks/goats in the same oder symbolizing that they take oil bath with segakkai, get washed, get dressed with kumkum/garlands and finally eat pongal. This is kinda due respect we pay to them for all the hard work they do throughout the year. My grandpa will feed the pongal and the person behind will wash their mouth with water. Following this, the cattle will be filled with hays and other stuff for the cows to munch happily and go to sleep.
– No more cows and even the cow shed has been brought down as no one is there to take care of it now!
Sighh!! I couldn’t control my tears while re-reading all the links I have shared in this post.
Thank you blog for helping me to save my valuable memories. If not you, how else would I have shared about my precious childhood with my offspring?