Deepavali-Campus and crackers.

Lakshmi -- Alakshmi
Lakshmi — Alakshmi


This is my tribute to Dr.Venugopal who ensured that we had a great time during deepavali. Jyotsna, Aruna, Anand, Arvind, Anupa, Geeta isaac, Krishna,Sundar and Biju who were all part of the baccha brigade.

Banditu deepavali,siri sobaganu pasarisi lokava belagatali.

The lamps that light the kartika masa, the cool breeze of the oncoming winter there is something very romantic about the festival.

As a child it was the excitement of cleaning up all the water containers in the house that we called “hande” pronounced to rhyme with day. Then with a thin paste of rice flour it was making rangoli patterns.

From the kitchen came the aroma of yeleappa or deep fried appams. Made only once a year on the eve of the onset of  Deepavali.  Next morning it would be the excitement of abhyanjana or the ritual bath. The oil would be enriched with herbs and warmed. Of course in the urban set up the humble coconut oil was replaced by “Tata parimala yenne” i.e. Tata oil incidentally it had a jasmine fragrance, or “Ramtirtha” the mysterious packets with new clothes would be opened up.

I really cannot remember the shopping frenzy that seems to take place these days. Three shops in town gave us the “Deepavali uchita koduge” that is special Deepavali offer and they were–, Gajanana clothes store at Tenkupete, Nanalal Pandya better known as pandyara angadi and kalasanka  Naryana Pai, the clientele was also more or less fixed, one went to Kalsanka for the silks, Pandya’s for durable cotton and “fancy” was Gajanana.

On triodashi or neerhabba as we call it, yeleappa* rules the roost.

On chaturdashi, king Bali is sent off, after a breakfast of uddina dosa*, which served with kayi hurna.

On amavase Lakshmi is welcomed with Kadabu* and kayihalu*.

There were social events like Angadi puje, or the puja’s that took place at various shops, being invited to one, used be a declaration of social status, and I remember subtle murmurs when people were not invited. My own favourite was of course the one at Pandya’s and Mitra Samaj.

Homes would have huge discussions on investing the Deepavali bonus. Gifts from the “medical representatives” would arrive with the  multicoloured Bombay halwa the halwa’s were actually fluorescent green and yellow or respectable maroon ones alternately it would be the doodh pedha. Incidentally it was the doodh pedha that was served at the angadi pooja that made it special.

A typical angadi puje menu would be panchakajjaya, and golibaje with sharbet/fanta/Baajal, if not coffee the doodhpeda would be given as a take away.

Then the walk down the temple square to see the Lakshadeepa, we would go down to aunt Jayalakshmi’s house and either my father or my uncle would take us around to see it.

Once we shifted to the campus, beginning on the triodashi we had community fireworks, with Venu-uncle (Dr.Venugopal from the department of urology.) leading the battalion. Dr.M.N.Nayak who was in charge of the burns unit, would softly tell us, “jaagrate” that is take care probably he was the busiest surgeon during this time with crackers bursting all over.

My own favourite cracker was the bhoomichakra which would spin round the room while my brother seemed to prefer the fountain.

During the week there would be the KMC fireworks, organized by the student council where the crackers came from sivakasi specially designed for the event.

The vahana puje with all the vehicles decorated like they were the north Indian grooms with sehera, banana saplings tied on either side of the bus.

The only day that the Manipal OT was closed that was the day of ayudha puje.

Somehow the Deepavali that I remember involved, people, rituals, and of course home cooked eating. Not so much of shopping and marathon cleaning like it appears today.

Written for indiblogger happy hours —

*will share the recipe’s tomorrow.

Deepavali stories to follow too.

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