Saturday, January 14, 2006

Its Pongal and Makar Sankranti today!

Its Januray 14, 2006. While it is blustery outside here in the US, the festival churns up warm feelings. It marks the harvest festival in Tamil Nadu and ushers in "thai maasam". In Bengal it is the "poush maash."
Festivals such as this though religious and or ritualistic celebrate the sheer harmony of human life cycle with the seasonal changes in nature. They are welcome breaks in the long continnuum of time bridging one state of mind and existence to another.

The rice based preparations crucial for celebrating the festival- "ven pongal" and the "chakkra pongal" comprise ingredients that are freshly harvested during the agricultural season. Similarly in Bengal, "puli peethe" and "patishaapta" use jaggery drawn from dates and not necessarily sugarcane. In the Punjab, Lohri festival is held probably a day ahead of Pongal and also celebrates the winter savouries like sesame seeds, peanuts, sugar and jaggery and ushers in the season for kharif crops that will be harvested a couple of months later and yet again celebrated during Baisakhi.

Some published contributions

Living here....!

Khaali Hai Kya?


Travails of a desi living in videsh

Authentic Bengali Cuisine in Boston

A wintry evening sunset in Sudbury

Friday, January 13, 2006

Presenting our hues and shades