Experiencing the festive season in village



The village houses have traditional architecture. The rooms are longitudinally constructed connecting verandahs and corridors from the front entry porch to the backyard courts. The first room is most probably the drawing room which is least frequented by the females, next is the corridor to the verandah situated at the center of the dwelling which has a stair way to the Terrace and a Tulsi tree which is worshipped every single day. Next is the bedroom, towards a conspicuous side of the corridor, which remains empty for most part of the day. Next is the puja room and the kitchen - where the women of the house rule and reign. Then the backyard would be visible. It would have a well, a kitchen garden and the bathrooms would be situated adjacent to the boundary wall quite a distance away from the well.

I like these old buildings, but it provides less privacy. We are comfortable with bed and bath attached, so adjusting to this accommodation is a bit difficult. The facilities are minimal too - the water needs to be filled early in the morning in tanks and buckets when the motor works, or else it would have to be pulled from the well which is quite a tedious task. Monkey menance is huge here- if the kitchen is not monitored for even a few minutes, no cooked items would be left in edible condition. The stairs to the Terrace is too steep.

But the one thing we enjoy and look forward to is the variety of dishes that are prepared throughout the festive week. The Pujas performed for the gods are ritualistic and elaborate involving Sanskrit slokas, jhuna, alati, bells, conches, and hullhullis. Every item cooked is first served and offered to the gods, and then the family members partake it. I really like the way the goddess is treated like a human being. The door of the puja room is closed after each offering, so that she could eat in peace. At night too the door is closed, to be opened only the next morning, so that no one would disturb her sleep.

Today I had two prawn dishes, two fish items, three types of sweets, fruits and two desi preparations of rice kheer with puloa and khichdi. And yes, non vegetarian preparations are offered to the goddess. A sumptous meal and a dinner for gluttons! Awaiting the flavours that tomorrow would bring.

Happy Navami ahead!


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