Theme: Festival

Thai Pongal


At winter solstice,
sun’s movement is uttarayana (Northwards).
In rest of the states,
Makara Sankranti (Winter Harvest Festival),
brings a fresh new year,
kites coloring the sky,
farmers hut blessed
with abundance of smiles.

Nature’s equality is visible
making this celebration, sensible.

Before dawn,
Hearing the lovesome voice,
Feeling the gentle touch,
I sit on my mother’s lap,
Enjoying her head massage.
I lean on her throbbing chest,
the smell of herbal coconut oil
kicks my nostrils.

Slowly my sleep
slips into a state of bliss.
Entrance of my home decorated
with sugarcane plants and mango leaves.
Drawn using rice flours,
Front and backyard of my home artistic
with eve’s rangoli patterns.

With my parents' blessings,
receive their gift of new dress
and at sunrise,
in the backyard,
offer our family prayers
to the Suryan
along with the Pongal
that is bubbling out
of the new clay pot.

My parents, sister and I call out
Pongal – O – Pongal,
revealing the joy of
seeing the Pongal
bubbling out
of the new clay pot,
wishing abundance
of good health and prosperity
to self and everyone.

With relatives, neighbors and friends
we exchange wishes
along with Pongal.
With cousins and friends
My sister and I,
relish sugarcane.

Thai Pongal lives in my heart
and in my state.
Time and I have changed,
this festival hasn’t.

Thai – 10th Month of the Tamil Calender, starts Jan 13-15 in the Gregorian Calender.
Pongal - sweetened dish of rice boiled with lentils.
Thai Pongal – Tamil Nadu’s Harvest Festival celebrated to give prayers to the Sun God, Suryan on the 1st day of Thai Month.

Image © Getty Images


More By  :  Ramesh Anand

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