There’s a festive mood in the air notwithstanding the scorching sun and the rising temperature. ‘Ugadi’ is here in all its glory and the families are leaving no stone unturned to usher it in.
They have decked up their frontyard with ‘maavina thoranas’ or festoons made of mango leaves and colourful ‘rangoli’.
While homemade delicacies are an incredible part of the festivities, clothes and jewellery top the list of ‘must-buys’. Meanwhile, people who are travelling to their hometowns are carrying gifts, sweets and new clothes for their family members. The youngsters are happy to receive money from the elders on the occasion.
The preparations for ‘Ugadi’ in Prithvi and Chandrashekar’s home begin a week prior to the actual festival.
They have a steady stream of friends and relatives visiting them on the day. Prithvi, says, “The day begins with a helping of ‘Bevu-Bella’ which signifies that life is a combination of joy and sorrow.”
She says food is the main attraction of the festival. “There will be two varieties of curries, ‘Kosambari’, ‘Chitranna and Uppinakayi’, ‘Majjige Huli’ and ‘Puliyogare’. These are served on a plantain leaf. There will also be varieties of ‘Obbattu’ and ‘Amboday’. We prepare these delicacies at home,” adds Prithvi. Her husband Chandrashekar chips in, “Visiting friends, relatives and gifting elders is an integral part of the festival.”
Festivals are also a time when members of the extended family join in the celebration.
Siblings Shreyas and Neha Umesh look forward to wearing new clothes and spending quality time with friends and family.
“After wearing new clothes and taking the blessings of the elders in the family, the next big thing is the lunch. We make it a point to sit together and eat,” says Neha.
Her brother Shreyas, pitches in, “I look forward to the ‘Obbattu’ and other sweets which is a perfect contrast to the ‘Mango Rasayana’ and ‘Mango rice’ that my mother makes. ‘Bevu-Bella’ is also distributed among family members and friends.”
There are a few people like Rajashekar Naidu, a city-based IT professional, who is taking a break and is headed to hisnative place — Hyderabad. “Even if work keeps me busy, I am particular that I spend ‘Ugadi’ with my parents. I booked my ticket a month in advance,”says Rajashekar. “At home, my sister, my friends and I start cooking early in the morning. We begin the day by making sweets and then it’s non-stop cooking. There’s no better way to enjoy a festival than with good food.”
Usha Ranganath and her husband Dr Ranganath HR usually lay out a grand feast for family and friends on ‘Ugadi’. The house is given a makeover and new clothes are bought for every member of the family.
“We buy new furniture and television. Almost everything in the house is replaced with something new. Family and friends come home for a lavish lunch. The menu will comprise all the dishes that are exclusively made during this festival. That includes ‘Obbattu’, ‘Mango rice, ‘Amboday’ and ‘Channa Masala’,” adds Usha.