Harvesting joy

good times

delighted Sankranti is incomplete without sugarcane and yellu bella.  dh photo by srikanta sharma rSankranti, the harvest festival, is an occasion that ushers in happiness and prosperity. It is the first festival of the year and despite the hustle bustle of everyday life, people come together and celebrate it with family and friends.

 For many, it’s that time of the year when yellu bella (a mix of sesame, dry coconut, groundnut and jaggery) and sugar-candy sculptures are distributed. Markets are filled with people doing last-minute shopping for sugarcane, flowers, new clothes and packets of yellu-bella.  Sandhya, a professional, says that she has been buying yellu bella for Sankranti for the past few years. “Earlier, we used to make it at home. But we hardly find time to do that these days. Now that everything is available in the shops, it has become quite convenient for working people,” she adds.

Dieting takes a back seat during the festival with sugar candies all around. Bhavana, an actress, says, “After a long time, I will be heading home to spend time with my family. This festival is extra special as it’s going to be my baby niece’s first festival and the celebrations will be doubled. If there is one thing I am looking forward to, it is gorging on yellu bella, sugar candies and
distributing them in the neighbourhood.”

Director-cum-actor Prem says that he usually heads back to his village during ‘Sankranti’. “Back in the village, the entire family comes together and we wear new clothes for the puja. After this, we feast on the food. I love sugarcanes. It’s not everyday that I get to eat sugarcanes, so this is the perfect opportunity. This year, I will be in Bangalore with my family. We will have a small puja and then attend a function. But I will make sure I have at least one sugarcane,” he adds.

Gajendra, a professional, says that a harvest festival generally doesn’t make much sense in a city, but Sankranti is one festival that has managed to retain its charm everywhere. “It’s like a new year for us and the significance of the festival is to spread sweetness in everything you do. And it’s that sweetness that brings everyone together,” he adds.

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