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Navarathiri Nayagan

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Rrg, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Rrg

    Rrg Gold IL'ite

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    Navarathri festival had a special place in kids in our childhood days.
    I distinctly remember my first golu visits in 1956 along with my cousin sisters.
    I was just 5years old then.
    My cousins used to dress me up like Krishna, with flute, peacock feather etc, and take me to various houses in our street for Golus.
    I was made to sing & dance "Brindhavanamum, Nandhakumaranum" number from 'Missiamma', a very popular song then.
    The dance steps were my own and so were many of the words in the song, that I could not make out.
    In every household, the grown-ups enjoyed this song & dance sequence with all the 'mazhalai' etc .
    I realised it much later that instead of "Yaardhan azhagaal mayangadhavaro' (who will not be swayed by beauty), I was singing "Yaardhan muzhangal madangaadhavaro" (who is there whose knee would not bend), thus adding to the merriment of the audience. Repeating this act in every house, I felt more like a performing monkey. But no doubt varieties of 'sundal' came as the reward.
    By this act, I became quite popular amongst mamis in our street, leading to a fair amount of 'cheek pinching' whenever they happen to pass me on the street.

    It did not take me long to realise that my cousins were using me as a ploy to avoid their singing in golus.
    So when the next Navarathri came, I refused to be dressed as anything other than myself.
    My cousins were upset by my adamant ' non-dancing' stand. But, they could not leave me out of their golu team as I was useful to them in many other ways.
    For instance, using my contacts, I used to find out evrey day, what sundal it was in various houses in our street.
    This allowed them to pick & choose the visits depending upon their taste.
    'Kadalaip paruppu (Bengal gram) sundal' was a definite 'NO'. So was payatham paruppu (green gram) sundal.
    Pattani & Koththuk kadalai sundals were welcome. Karamani sundal was tolerable.
    At times, my cousins divided themselves into two groups and visited different houses - for broad-basing sundal collection. Needless to mention, I used to be present inboth groups.
    Very soon, it became common knowledge that I possese info on daily sundal menu of various households.
    This brought me new friends, atleast during Navrathri times, who were badly in need of this important input, to avaoid unpleasant surprises.

    By the third Navrathri, my cousins ensured that I also learn few songs on Murugan & Krishna that they were familiar with.
    This time we did chorus singing during our golu visits. No doubt, it was great fun for all we singers.
    This practice is still follwed incase I visit my cousins during Navarathiri.
    Our singing together now brings up nostalgic and a great feeling of closeness - as between thieves.

    My elder sister would accompany us only to selected houses.
    But, she would definitely visit her close friends' along with me. In all these houses it was my duty to do the proxy singing.
    This practice is continuing till date.
    Now, both of us live in Mumbai. My sis would check my availability and confirm a day for golu visit, to her close family friends.
    Even if my wife is unable to make it due to her professional committments, I go visiting with my sis on that day and do the proxy singing part.
    For all this, and also due to the fact I was born during Navrathras, my wife calls me "Navarathiri Nayagan".

    Cheers,
    Rrg

     
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  2. Lalitha Shivaguru

    Lalitha Shivaguru Platinum IL'ite

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    Aiyya Navarthri Nayagan,

    You had me in splits with your comments
    I was just :biglaugh:rotflOMG my stomach & sides are aching luckily bosses are not there so could happily enjoy this snippet.


    Your writings are defintely a visual treat for us as it takes me also on a nostalgic trip of our Gollu days....

    Simply wonderful...enjoyed each & every word Rrg!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  3. kelly1966

    kelly1966 Platinum IL'ite

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    It so nice to share your lovely childhood days... festivals are always fun for the kids specially if you are sure of being treated with sweets....
    K
    p.s. I guess Sundal means sweets and whats the meaning of golu?
     
  4. Cindhuja

    Cindhuja Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Rrg,

    Itz always a delight to read your article..Thanks for help me recollect the good old memories of mine relating to Golu :bowdown

    Awaiting for the next one :thumbsup
     
  5. Rrg

    Rrg Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Lalitha, Kellyn & Cindhuja,
    Thanks for your FBs. :)
    Dear Kelly:
    In Tamil Nadu the festival of Navrathri is called Kolu or Navratri Golu, where people set up multi tiered planks in a corner of the house and decorate them with dolls collected over the years. The origin of the word Kolu can be traced to Tamil word 'Kolu' , which means a sovereign sitting in his/her royal durbar. As per belief the concept of arranging these Navrathri dolls on the plank is to depict Goddess Sakthi sitting in her Kolu, prior to the slaying of the demon Mahishasura.
    Goddess Sakthi is supposed to be holding court during the nine nights of Navarathiri - the first 3 days as Durga, the second as Lakshmi & the third as Saraswathy. The Tenth day is Vijaya Dasami or Dushera, when the actual slaying of the demon takes place. Therafter, the Kolu is adjourned for the next year.

    In present day parlance, golu stands for the festival of dolls. These dolls are arranged in several tiers tastefully. Invitations are exchanged and women folk & children visit each other's golu. It is common practice for the visitors to sing some devotional song, sitting in front of the golu. It is considered predominantly a ladies festival. Only a few males, like me, keep attending golus, even after becoming quite old, as an extension of their indomitable elder sisters.

    Another highlight of Golu festival is the different varieties of Sundal that is made during these days. One different sundal for 9 different days, for the Deity and then for distribution as prasad. As a kid, sundal was a major attraction.
    Sundal is nothing but a simple South Indian salad made with different legumes like White chickpeas, black chickpeas, butter beans, dried peas and many more. I think in Karnataka it is called Usli. You may like to get recipe from internet and try.
    Trust now you would have got the hang of my story.:)
    Cheers!
    Rrg
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  6. malligashivaram

    malligashivaram Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Rrg sir you writing is so smooth so well written, with memories well maintained, not to miss th joy, and mischief of childhood and its simple desires and pure love, for family and society---so well said--nearly all of us have some type of memories like this---and you explict writing bring out the good old days, the air of festivities, and what house is cooking what--in those days we seemed to know-----and wait for some delicies haha---good old days, navarathri nayagam -----was a good acting, singing and dancing nayagam-----kudos to you writing, it make us feel so close to our childhood:bowdown
     
  7. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    dear Rrg Sir,

    absolutely hilarious !

    [B]"Yaardhan azhagaal mayangadhavaro' (who will not be swayed by beauty), I was singing "Yaardhan muzhangal madangaadhavaro" (who is there whose knee would not bend), [/B]

    that had me :rotfl:rotfl i have also danced with my flowing paavadai to this tune with my mother as the playback singer.:) every anecdote narrated by you re confirms my opinion that you are a wonderful brother.:)
     
  8. kelly1966

    kelly1966 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Rrg Sir....
    Thank you very much for your extensive explanation....It was very enriching... I'm from Mumbai and have settled in Bangalore a few years back hence my knowledge of south indian customs is limited.:hide:
    I'm really fascinated by the way almost every festival in the Hinduism is celebrated in various ways through out the length and breath of our country....
    Navrathri celebrations in Mumbai were mainly confined to dandiya raas and gita paath and burning of Ram and Ravan effigy where as the same in Bengal is celebrated by worshipping durga for 4 days.. so on....
    After getting married to a bengali and coming to live in south India I've realised the diversity of the culture.....
    K
     
  9. shreyashreyas

    shreyashreyas Gold IL'ite

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    RRG sir, was waiting for your post from a long time.... navarathiri nayagan.... very nice title given to you.... even today kids are very happy for the varieties they get and the gifts ofcourse.... my kids are very happy accompanying their athai for the special attention they get as they are twins.... i love that too....

    liked the write up and your separate style of representing in a comic way.....

    Sandhya
     
  10. gjaya

    gjaya Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Rrg Sir,

    This was such a delightful article all about the Navarathri Golu. It is celebrated very grandly at my in-laws place, they are kannadigas but have a Tamilnadu influence so after marriage I put up the golu every year and invite all ladies for Haldi Kumkum. I never knew about golu although I am a kannadiga as well, my mom did not practice putting golu but usually did pooja for all nine days.

    I get really excited arranging all the dolls and stuff for the golu and get tremendously happy when everyone says its really beautiful and all (I have done some pretty creative golus). :)

    So you were born during Navarathri is it thats why your nicknamed thus. :rotfl I was born on Narasimha Jayanthi...thank god nobody nicknamed me Narasimha Rani or something like that.:rotfl


    Jaya
     

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