Saturday, November 10, 2007
I have been married for a few years now. Through these years I never made an attempt to cook up a storm for any function/ festival . I made the occassional Payasam (Kheer) ... but mostly I rebelled the concept of how every celebration seemed to revolve around food!!
However, a year ago... I changed my mind! Here's why... I had thought my little son was still a baby who was growing up unaware of his surroundings. Sure enough he was in the US but din't speak a word of English. Halloween went by without a fuss! It was Christmas eve, and my husband and I were talking about how the shops were closed because it was christmas tomorrow. My son perked up... and said "Amma, Santa will come tonight and leave a gift by the fire place. It will be there when I get up tomorrow". My husband and I looked at him amazed!! The culprit "BARNEY"!!!!! We ran around town looking for an open shop and found a Rite Aid, where I got him Santa's gift.
The realization dawned on me that while Barney and Elmo were educating my son about christmas and halloween, I was letting him grow unaware of our inherent traditions. I have since made a conscious effort to celebrate every festival in the Indian calendar - major and minor. Nantu has a sweet tooth so he looks forward to this... I would make some sweet - chakara pongal (sweet pongal) mostly this being Nantu's favourite and Vada. We would then Pray to GOD when Nantu would recite all the slokams (Prayers) he knows and then he would eat the sweet!! Needless to say he keeps making up bday's - " Amma today is Balaji umachi's bday, Umachi paavam, make some sweet for him!" (Paavam : SAD? Umachi - GOD).
Diwali was no different... I was reminded of all the festivities we had when we were kids. All the sweets mom and grandmom made... Distributing sweets to neighbours, fireworks, endless tv watching, lakshmi puja and bon fire at my (punjabi) neighbour's place. We had a blast for about a week in all.
I was visited by the guilt trip... Nantu is not having as much fun as I had when I was a kid... So I cooked up a storm ... I made three types of Savouries and 3 sweets - Thengulal, Ribbon Pakoda, Omapodi (Sev), Gulab Jamun, Appam and Manoharam. We regaled Nantu with all the diwali tales and about the fireworks display... He only knows about the July 4th displays ofcourse!! He was very excited about Diwali and insisted on calling everyone in India and wishing them. He even insisted on wearing Sricharanam (Thika) on his forehead. Yay!!
Happy Diwali to all of you