"Pongalo Pongal"-How I wish we could make that ghee dripping oversweetened Tamilian delicacy in a mud pot, with a wood fire outside my house..... Hmmmm cant crib too much - atleast I do make it . Oh no.. but wat about the sugarcane? it seems like a million years since I had to bite and tug at the sugarcane skin [hey I dunno wat else to call it] and then lay my teeth on that juicy stem...And those times when you make these huge rangolis at the doorstep, chatting late into the nite and comparing yours with the neighbor's.......Interesting how simple pleasures take alarmingly high importance when they are unavailable.
I know Pongal is celebrated all over India under different names and purposes. In Tamil Nadu, Pongal is a four day celebration starting with Bhogi where we get rid of all the old things in the house and whitewash house. Then it is Pongal, where we thank the Sun god for blessing us with a good agricultural harvest. The third day is Mattu Pongal where the cows and bulls involved in agriculture are worshipped. To city bred non agriculturists like me, it is was big joke in school to call up friends and wish for Mattu pongal and continue with cliched leg pullings like "innikavadhu kulichiya?' [did u bath atleast today], 'achacho un kombukku red color adichittangale unakku green dhane pidikkum" [oh no they painted ur horns red- but u like green right?!].....I still do it to some people:)))) the final day is Kannum Pongal which is a day for people to go out and celebrate a successful harvest.......Hey and forgot this - you dont necessarily have to go to Madrid, Spain [hey D no offense meant:)))))))] to watch a bull fight or a matador - there are some good ones in all the small villages surrounding Madurai and Tanjore.
hopefully that dint sound like an excerpt from some high school text book...I hope I "enlightened" all the Non-Tamils and Non- Indians about Pongal... want to really know wat Sankranthi and other festivals are for - y worry when there is good ol' google!
Ulagam engum ulla Thamizhargalukku en ulamaarndha Thai thirunal Valthukkal! To all of u out there celebrating anything else "Happy xxXXxx"
Have fun! will go and work on our Pongal [ Maybe I'll wait till SMS gets up and ask him to make it.... wat dya think?! :))))]