Happy Happy Sankranthi everyone. Its the season of Harvest and of good food. That is why we celebrate this festival. Yummy pongal (we call it Huggi in kannada) both sweet and salt/pepper, loads of yeLLu which is a mixture of jaggery, dry coconut, roasted groundnuts, til – just yummy and the sakkare acchu-sugar dolls made by sugar syrup poured into moulds – whats not to love about this festival? And for days after when I continue to savour the taste of the yeLLu every evening as a I return from home-infact I look forward to it 🙂
These days we buy everything-which is actually sad, but where is the time? I remember those days when come New Year, my granny would start cutting the Copra and jaggery into tiny pieces of the same size and roast the groundnuts to take out the skin and then the sunday before the festival granny, mom and I and sometimes my brother, would coop up in the kitchen making sakkare acchu-heating the sugar syrup and straining it first to remove the dirt, pouring it into the moulds and then patting it so it would settle. The excitement of removing the sugar figurines from the mould is something I cannot explain in words here. Slowly hoping not to break it and then seeing if every groove and every line of the bird, the temple, the palm tree have come on the figurine and then admiring our own handiwork. And then keeping my brother from popping them into his mouth until the actual festival and naivedya 🙂
On the day of the festival mom,brother and I would go on the kinetic honda with a big basket full of bananas, sugarcane pieces, yeLLu and sakkare acchu to about 15-20 houses for ‘YeLLu Beerodu’. That is one ritual I continue to do even today. Even today, we went to everyone’s houses-ofcourse the number has come down to basic minimum of first family-6 houses and home in time for lunch. I believe that in these hectic days when people dont have the time to meet and visit even during weekends (weekends for completing the house chores) festivals are the only time we get to visit someone and insist that they come home too… Yes, its hectic-knowing tomorrow we need to get back to work and routine-but I like to believe its Happy hectic.
I only hope from next year I would also be able to make the sakkare acchu at home (a dream I’ve been nurturing since we shifted to our home) and take it with me 🙂 Also,I wish, that the son would get some interest in all these festivities and the fun and reason behind it and learn to appreciate the culture. Yes, knowing he is a boy and he might loose interest in it by the time he gets into teenage – but I want to give him the happy memories I have of these festivities 🙂
So – go on everyone – make Happy Memories 😀