Happiness comes calling

'Ugadi' celebrations

Happiness comes calling

There is a feeling of festivity in the air as people gear up to welcome the new year with fun and frolic.

       While the sentiments remain the same, the style of merrymaking has seen quite a few changes over the years with an increasing number of youngsters seeing the day as a chance to unwind and relax.

“I just finished my exams and am looking forward to meeting my friends,” says Devamsh Prasad, a student.

“Usually on ‘Ugadi’, all of us meet at a common point  and play games like cricket and football. After that, I go home to partake in the delicious feast and then play video games. For me, more than the festival, it’s about friends and meeting them,” he says.

Devamsh feels that a little  laxity has crept into the customs of yore when it comes to celebrations. “When I was small, I was told to have an early morning bath, pray and then eat. But now people don’t follow old practices so much. Some people eat before anything else today,” he laughs.

Bhandavya Gowda, who is married to a Malayali, says that while olden rituals are still practised in her native place of Chikkamagaluru, she has made plans to go out with her friends and catch on a movie.

“Since my husband’s family does not celebrate this festival and also since I have an off, I plan to enjoy myself this way.”

Others like Bindu and Bhoomika plan to strengthen the familial bond during this day.
“I make it a point to spend this day with my family. After all, you have other days to enjoy with your friends,” says Bindu Rao, an aspiring actor.

 “We have already purchased new clothes, which is a must during all festivals. My entire family is thinking of going for a movie in the evening,” she says.

Fashion design student Bhoomika Kumar  wants to spend this day with her family and follow every rite and ritual to the letter. “Right from the early morning puja to the distribution of ‘obbattu’ and ‘payasam’, my family has been observing all practices through the years. It is a time for the entire extended family to come together and we make sure that we enjoy this day to the fullest.”

A minuscule portion of the population that does not have an off today is content with watching the celebrations from a distance. Nayantara N is a part of this group. “Had I got a holiday, I would have preferred to laze around at home after a delicious lunch with my parents,” she says, adding, “I feel close-knit families are  more particular about traditions. For others, it is about taking a break and catching up with friends. For my non-Kannadiga friends, it is a welcome holiday in the middle of the week.”

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