Ugadi in DubbayHappy Ugadi to you all!! (If you know what that is...)
Well, its Ugadi Today - the dawn of a new year for us Hindus from the S. Indian state of Karnataka (not sure if it applies to any other state) . As I squat here in Dubai, miiiiles away from all that, ..... Memories of the many U's spent with family play like bollywood movie trailers in the mind - clear, bits n pieces, and teasing the heart for 'more'...
What 'appetising' days they were the Ugadis ... when mom coaxed you to gobble multifarious 'ghee'-laden labour-intensive sweets till your tastebuds cloyed,... and how 'Indian' it felt - with all the festive look around, guests pouring in thro the day, a moving gallery bright new silken clothes all around...
My duty for the day was always: to craft a 'thoran' of fresh mango leaves first thing in the morning & tie it above the main door (across the door frame) - a tradition - to encourage the entry of fresh & cool air to fill up the house on a hot summer day as this.
The highlight of this day is however, a 'bitter-sweet' tradition - to eat a little mixture of tender neem leaves & jaggery - this represents the golden rule of life - that life is never all smiles or all cries, its exactly like what we eat today - a mixture of bitter & sweet, of joy and sorrow and one must accept this fact of life sportively. Traditions apart, Neem has a cooling effect on the body, and also purifies the blood - so clever forefathers we had eh!
Well, those are only 'memories' now... Here I am in Dubai, away from all the festivities and fuss.. I confess, I reaaally miss them (though I didnt really care for all the noise back then) specially on such special days of the calendar spent with mom & dad. Since the time mom told me about Ugadi, I've been thinking of turning it to a great day here. Sat down to think what to cook. hmm.. well, whatever it is, the fridge needs to be filled up first, its as barren as the desert around. Pooja? Need to go shopping for flowers.. New clothes? cant afford right now - just bought 2 expensive paris of shoes - could wear the new footwear though (heehe)! How about the Neem & Jaggery? Jaggery...yes I have it. Neem is out of question. How about making this year sweet and sweet :) !
Nevertheless, I can still do something about it. So, I sat down with eyes wide open as the clock ticked midnight, as Sandeep snored - blissfully unaware of the U-turmoil I was passing thro- and listed down the things I could do in the morning. Not bad, but list turned out to cost me 2 & half hours of sleep. "Will power," I thought as I tucked into my blanket. It turned out, the strong Expresso I had in the evening, worked overtime on me and kept me struggling to find some sleep... 12:30...1:30...2:40.. was the last I bothered to check the time . Well... So you know what hapepned. Down the roach-infested drain went my plans ... "to wake up before the garbage van came at 6:00, clean the pooja 'cabinet' like a good girl, cook all the (at lest some of the) yummies mom does back in b'lore like a good wife, peform elaborate Ugadi pooja like a sacred Indian woman, et al.
It was in fact, later than usual :. So, there goes Ugadi; and there goes me to my same old office, in the same old Dubbay! (PS: thats the way Dubai is called traditionally ...something like Bangalore is called Bendacalluru:).. no fee for that gyan)