September 2, 2010

Sweet Memories of Gokulashtami

அப்பம், வடை, வெண்ணை, முறுக்கு, சீடை,தேரட்டிபால், பாயசம்...Yes it's about my memories associated with Gokulashtami. It's the festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. This was not a holiday during school days. But conveniently it is celebrated in the evening.

Amma is an expert in cooking and needless to say she makes numerous sweets and savouries during such occasions. She usually makes appam, ulundu vadai, seedai (uppu and vellam), murukku, payasam, uppu avil, vellam avil, therattipal (yeah the list is long!). Being a school teacher, she used to come home a bit early on this day and start preparing the dishes. When I get back from school the whole house would be filled with aroma of butter...Ummmm yumm! Akka and I used to lend our hands in preparing for the pooja. The job I liked the best was to keep footprints of Lord Krishna from our house entrance till the pooja room. This is made mixing crushed rice with water. At homes where there are small kids, people would make the kid to step on the rice mixture and walk on the floor. These footprints symbolises baby Krishna entering the devotee's house. They also dress up their children like baby Krishna.

The next part was to make the idol of baby Krishna out of clay. Usually it is made in a crawling posture. Amma did this since I didn't have much skills to do that. The clay idol was then decorated with peacock feather and kept in a small craddle stand.

Tulsi leaves are very special offering to Lord Krishna and so are used to do the prayers. Since we have a huge garden at home, we had abundant flowers and leaves to offer. We chantted Vishnu Sahasranamam praying God and offered all the dishes. Once the pooja was done, came the best part..eating the sweets and savouries..he he..;-) This way we used to have fun celebrating Gokulashtami every year.

On Right: My parents were so thoughful to send me the photos of Gokulashtami they celebrated yesterday. Felt so nostalgic...
Many thanks to them..:-)

While I was preparing for the pooja here yesterday, I was reminded of those days at home with parents and sister. After getting guidance from Amma I tried making vadai and appam. Vadai dough was a bit watery so could not make hole in the centre, but appam was a success! Anyway both tasted good...:-) My hubby and I prayed God and offered all the dishes.

Those leaving away from your parents shall very well understand the homesickness especially during occasions or festivals. Nevertheless the technologies nowadays help you overcome that.
(To the technocrats in India, please for God sake don't ban SKYPE too!!!)

I hope you readers also celebrated Gokulashtami and had fun with your family.

P.S: appam, ulundu vadai, seedai (uppu and vellam), murukku, payasam, uppu avil, vellam avil, therattipal: Hard to explain each of them but they are sweets and savouries
Pooja: Prayer
Amma: Mother
Akka: Elder sister
Vishnu Sahasranamam : Holy mantra

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