Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Maattup pongal

Yesterday went quiet, other than mother's usual running around and shouting at us asking us to eat every meal at right time so that she can cook the next one. We had Sarkaraip pongal (rice pudding prepared with sugarcane-jaggery) yesterday. I am not a fan of sweet items. :( Amma and Velthai chithi were telling that yesterday was the day for the mankind and today is the day for the cattlekind. Bulls and cows are celebrated and thanked today. We used to have bulls and cows, but not anymore. Murugesan mama has many of them. All cows. Pongal in their house is like a festival itself. We all go there to watch. I go to Velthai chithi's house and then to mattukkaara pattaiya's house. They have bulls. It is not sarkaraipongal today. It is venpongal. It is just plain pacharisi (raw rice) with no salt. Kind of tasty though. A portion of pongal, a piece of banana, a piece of coconut and a piece of sugarcane are distributed to everyone. I give my sugarcane piece to Senthil. I don't like sugarcane.

Esvaran chithappa is taking his bulls for a walk. Bull's horns are painted in colours. One in red and one in green. It looks funny. It's whole body is decorated with dots of colour paint. He has tied some flowers around the horns and a garland around bulls' neck too. Bulls look funny. It goes well with the colourful kolams and flowers spillage all over the streets. Marigold. I feel uneasy when I step on it, but there is no escape today. They are there everywhere. Marigold spillage on the roads and streets.

Pattaiya is shouting at Esvaran chithappa, "Don't walk fast. It is their day, we should let them rest". Esvara chithappa replies, "Bulls go with a spring in their walk, as they seem to know that it is their day. What can I do? I am not going fast". Chithappa brings the bulls back after a little walk. "Machaan, are you not going for Jallikkattu?" Murugan asks Chithappa. Pattaiya shouts back. "No one is going for Jallikkattu. Where is your father?", asks Murugan. Murugan and chithappa wink at each other. I know. They are going to go. "Chithappa, are you going to participate"? I ask with curiosity mixed with fear.
"No lathaappillai. Don't tell anyone that I am going, ok? Don't let your brother go anywhere out today. Not even to the streets. Many guys will be taking their bulls for walk and sometimes they might leave it a little loose. Bulls are in funny mood today. Ok"?
"Chithappa, are you going to participate in Jallikkattu? Isn't Jallikkattu happening in Palaharampatti? Is the vandi race happening in the west in Kombai"?
"Listen, Nothing happening anywhere. Ok. it is dangerous and no body is doing it anymore. OK"?
"Ok". My interest died.

"Don't go in your white clothes". Paatti's words go unheard. Ganasa chithappa is coming back, all drenched in turmaric water. "No one listens to me", Paatti starts again. "It is those girls in the templestreet", Chithappa is unahappy to see his white clothes ruined in turmaric water. "Stain won't go" Paatti is unhappy too. Esvara chithappa goes off. He doesn't seem to be concerned about clothes. It is all for fun. I know. Kutti is coming back with her bucket empty. She looks so happy. She is drenched in turmeric water herself.
"It is not you, is it, kutti"? Asks Paatti.
"No no. Aren't they my brothers, what are you talking about, am I mad to throw turmaric water at them? Don't talk to me like that" Kutti goes angry.
"Girls should stay at home. who let you go out to the streets"?
"It is all for fun Periyamma, relax and enjoy", Kutti replies and runs home to clean herself.
I just lean on the door frame and watch the drama, as there is only more to come.

1 comment:

Chakra said...

Thanks for dropping by.

A very good post {will read this later}.