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Category Archives: festivals
I Wish all my readers and other millions of Indians across the globe a happy,prosperous and safe Diwali .
Mambalam is probably one of the most prominent areas in chennai .I would say any tourist who has missed this place, has missed the real chennai. Textiles,jewellery,electronics,footware ..u name the shit and it is available .Clearly a shoppers paradise. Perhaps the only place where u can do exaustive shopping .. Crowd is a synonymous word for the place .The fact that its very close to Railway station and Bus stand makes it all easier for people to come along with the family from any place.
But when it comes to festive season ,especially diwali , shopping can really be an ardous job.You will have to think twice before deciding to enter Ranganathan street . All you need to do is get out of the train . You need not even walk, the crowd will take u to the end of street but yeah it will take nearly an hour to cover the street that is hardly 100 meters long . Roads which practically can never be neat are full of pot holes and when it rains the place becomes really messy . Come in shorts if you don’t want to spoil ur pants 😛 . When u are out of the street u are relieved like u have just won a war .But thats not true ,shopping takes a lot more . All that glitters is not gold !! who cares !!!. When You enter the tallest and the best looking building around , you will find that almost half of the crowd from ranghanathan street too marches towards it.The best option to reach the top floors of a multistory building like this one are lifts but not here , they will either be not working or so overloaded that u would hardly be able to get in .SO climb up ,atleast u will lose some calories .It would be wise Carry oxygen cylinders to avoid suffocation while you are inside the building . You wont find a single place where u can stand peacefully .Billing section queue will be as long as the queue outside a stadium with India-pak match and dont even think about going to the stinky trial rooms 😛 you will have to wait till evening for that . All these things are common for almost all the major shops located there .
Going back home safe is no kids job too . ALL the buses and trains will be over crowded . consider it ur lucky day if u get a space to stand on ur two legs . ( And if u are among those few souls planning to come on their own vehicles find a solution beforehand for parking problem 😛 )
And when u reach home u cant help but feeling proud of making it through all the obstacles successfully . U pat ur own back and say What a DAY ?? I have made it
Anyways the post was about picture of the day i guess .. 😛 .So here u go …
Its festive time everywhere in india with a difference that people call it with different names and celebrate differently . WIth the start of navaratri people are busy here preparing for Golu/kolu . Heck !! i dont know how it should be written ..tamil script is confusing 😦 . Anyways There are not many Tamil readers of this blog so i thought it would be a good idea to write a post about something that people follow here religiously .
Now don’t fall into conclusions that i am religious just because i am writing the post ,Infact i am the worst in my family when i comes to religious activities. Last two days i have been helping my cousin in his preparation for golu . So wrting the post about it seemed the most obvious for me .With my mom and my sister away from home I dont have any source of info now to go deep into this but i would share everything i know 😉 .
Golu is a custom that is practiced here in tamil nadu during the navarathri days to worship goddess shakti/devi as mark of victory of good over evil.Three – three days are allotted each for goddess durga goddess lakshmi and goddess saraswati . Relatives and friends are invited to the house usually ladies and girls . As far as i know , the festival is purely for girls 😛 .
The First part in setting up of a golu is to form a base structure that is steps called as Padi ,which is usually kept in odd numbers. My grandparents used to have wooden steps those days but nowadays people have gone way ahead . There are ready made Iron steps available which after use can be dismantled and used like a shelf . Arranging it is a tough job though .. IT took me and my cousin about 3 hours to arrange the iron rods .
Once the steps are ready , each of them is decorated with small idols or dolls of gods or goddess . The first step usually has a chettiyar doll like the one u can see at the right side. Other steps are decorated with various colorful dolls of various gods or anything that appears good ..
Shopkeepers keep their shops stuffed with dolls well before the festival starts and the Creativity of the doll makers has added more beauty . A group of women praying in front of tulasi plant , a ramayana set , DASAVATHARAM are some examples of innovations that doll makers have brought into this festival . Dasavatharam set being the latest craze consists of 10 dols each portraying one of the 10 avatars of lord vishnu .Infact its the latest craze and my cousin bought a set too 😉 .
The creativity doesn’t end with just doll makers . Once their steps are decorated with thes colorful and lively dolls people try something creative too like setting up a miniature park , zoo ,a cricket match or anything else one could think of .
Once the Golu is set , people form the locality ,relatives are invited to the house . Mostly its the girls and ladies ( like i said before women’s festival) . On a lighter not guys are usually waiting for this festival so that they could see some good looking girls however i have been always unlucky on this part 😦 .
Girls sing kirthanais (bhajans !!! hope i am right) to please the gods. At the end they are given some gift and sundal to eat. Sundal is a dish made up of items like groundnuts ,peas etc. For each day a unique type of sundal is made which makes 9 different recipeis for the whole navaratri . Sundal is basically popular with the little ones. Although i had no interest in golus during my childhood i used to visit each home with my mom just to bring back sundal. The amount of sundal i collected those days was enough for me to survive on for a week . 😛
The festival’s end is marked by changing the position of a special doll (whose name i forgot) The doll is laid down horizontally which symbolically puts them to sleep . Then all the dolls are removed one by one and put into a trunk or whatever can hold them all . Next year same thing is followed with the additions of new innovative dolls.
Oh …btw here’s the golu at my cousin’s house ..