Sunday, 8 September 2013

Swarna Gowri Wrath
This is one festival which is very close to my heart. Why? May be because I am from North Karnataka and back there we didn't have this Wrath. And then a quarter century back I got married into the APS family. A big joint family full of cultural events and festivities.

Although everybody lived separately, festivals used to be always joint and fun filled events. There used to be around 20-25 elders and a dozen youngsters. Everybody used to chip in their contributions in everything.

The preparations used to start very well in advance and always there used to be a sense of celebration and camaraderie. It used to be time for decorations, rangolis, delicacies, exchange of gifts and the children always used to wait eagerly for these festivals as there used to be bounty of gifts and money.

In front of the deity decorated with flowers, diyas, buntings and et all we 15 to 20 ladies would sit in semi circle with our plates filled with flowers, fruits and incense sticks and do the puja under the guidance of my brother-in-law with the shlokas and mantras reverberating through the big hall and then exchange gifts.
Thankfully not only for this festival but for every other festival my mother-in-law would arrange for cooks who would arrive right early in the morning and prepare coffee, breakfast and sumptuous lunch. Lunch used to be a big event with around fifty of us sitting together with plantain leaves spread across the length and breath of the house.
To loud laughter and guffaws, songs and dance, there never used to be any objection from any elders and the cooks as they will also join in the fun. Just after lunch, there would be discussion on the new Sale happening in the city. As is the situation today, there used to be so many exhibitions and sales and in the afternoon, it used to be a trip around the city. After all we had to put to good use all the money we would have received during the day!

With the children growing up and moving out, the festivities have become sober and quite, but still I enjoy making preparations and celebrating this festival. 
What is the speciality of this year? Here it is... The Arati plate I designed and decorated with kundans, painting and flowers and yes, pots filled with home grown flowers from my terrace garden!

But of course, Bele Obbattu ( sweet chapati) with loads of desi ghee and hot milk :-)

Happy Gowri Ganesha :-)