Friday, March 27, 2009

गूडी पाडव्याच्या शुभेछ्या !!!!

‘ Today is the first day of the new year of Hindu Calendar ’ I said to my non-Indian friend . That’s nice, how do you celebrate ? '.

This put me in a fix. Despite my years of study, my inadequacy of putting across Hindu cultural symbols in English language was apparent. I tried hard to go back to my childhood days remembering colorful Gudi’s adorning various balconies and forcibly being fed something that tasted atrocious and bitter. I did my best to make physical description of ‘Gudi’ but was aware of my inability to explain it’s relevance.

Santan Prabhat has a special supplement on Gudi Padwa . Now I realize that Gudi Padwa has his origins well before return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya . Lord Brahma supposedly created the universe on this day. My bitter tasted recipe was a mix neem leaves , ajwain, gul (jaggery)and was meant to purify my blood and strengthen my body’s immune system against diseases.

A long bamboo, on the right side of the balcony (symbolises active state of the soul) with one end tied with bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade and a bright garlanded silver or copper goblet hung on top of the flag pole(symbolising emptying of one's ego!). A string of crystalline sugar cakes, neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is put over this bamboo. The end result is Gudi. ( This Marathi website explains relevance of all these items and even has a video) .

Next year, If someone asks me the same question, I am better prepared to answer it!!

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