Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entertaining Times Ahead

As the general elections 2009 dates were announced last week by CEC, I could feel a typical sense of thrill and excitement in me. I always get excited on executing my basic democratic right, casting my vote. :-)

Another cause for my excitement is the post poll scenario which is always spicy and sensational. ;-)

Before Electronic voting machines came into picture, it took at least 3 days for the result of final constituency to be out .So, Doordarshan used to telecast lots of films when Minu and Gitanjali Iyer were collecting latest results behind the screen .Film crazy Indians(includes me also;-)) had a wonderful time gluing to the TV screens , munching some snacks ,sipping hot coffee while watching the swings in results.

But now, EVMs have made things so easy, results are out before noon. So gone are the days of doordarshan movies :( , easy chairs, snacks and coffees. But Thanks to the post poll Hungama, Indians are not deprived of the fun they used to have in pre EVM era...

These days it is even more funnier, because of the results which lead to hung parliament. Poll pundits have already predicted a mixed verdict from Indian voters. So commotion is imminent. Now, with the formation of Third front the chaos is bound to happen. :-) Power puff girls of Indian politics ;-) [Maya, jaya] have enrolled themselves in third front and want to fulfill their dream of becoming prime minister of India.As of now ,the only person in Indian politics who doesn't want to become PM is Dr.Manmohan Singh ;-) ...May be he is tired:( of accomodating all whims and fancies of his coalition partners.:-) Even before a single vote is cast Jaya skipped the party thrown by Maya stating that PM candidate will be decided after Poll results are announced. This is just a trailer of the great blockbuster movie “Thaandav of Democracy” (Dance is very mild word .Thaandav is apt ;-)

After the election results are declared, parties and their leaders will decide how sekkoolar (this is how secular is pronounced by Indian politicians:-) ) they are, whether to join hands with secular UPA or Nationalistic (?!) NDA. If both UPA and NDA fail to make the mark, then pandemonium will reach its peak;-). Psephologists of TV News channels will have a great gala time interviewing the eloquent leaders displaying their gift of gab, further confusing their ideologies;-) ,leaders accusing each other of pseudo secularism :-o and minority appeasement(favourite words of News channels ;-)), lots of horse trading ( another favorite word of news channels ;-)) ,kidnapping the MPs to safer places till the confidence motion takes place…Oh! God! Lots of thrilling and interesting things are going to happen…Now, Tell me ! Don’t you find these events more entertaining than Doordarshan movies of yester years?:-). Expect more posts in this subject till my election fever subsides ;-) .CU in next post.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Naivedyam-Scrumptious Problem for Gods

Before proceeding with this post ,I would like to pose one question to you..When a puja is performed in your house,which is the most attractive and appealing part to you?
option 1:Religious part of it.
option 2:Naivedyam-food offered to Gods.
option 3:Naam smaran of God or remembering God's Name.
I am not going to ask for ur answer..because I know it ;-) and I am not going to reveal it to anybody ;-) ok? Now continue reading.. .

India,being a land of colourful festivals,different regions celebrate festivals in different ways..But One common thing I noticed in all these festivals or pujas is the Naivedyam part of it..It is a compulsory ingredient in all pujas because we love to offer food to our beloved deity..But I feel that this has created lots of problems for God..;-)..

Our ancestors were real gastronomic experts,they spent all their intelligence in inventing delicious sweets, pickles,papads,appalams,and many more..I doubt whether any other country has researched and developed such a wonderful variety of delicacies;-) ..According to convenience and availability of raw materials they allotted each delicacy for each puja/deity..

If it is Ganesh chaturthi,then it should be Modak(marathi) /Kolukkattai(tamil) ..
Ghee laden shira (modified version of kesari)for Satya narayan puja...
In South, Krishna janmashtami is celebrated with ;-) variety of delicacies... list is very big...

Actually naivedyam is prepared as an offering to God and as a token of our devotion..and we are supposed to sincerely concentrate on God during the pujas..and offer food to him with utmost love ,thank him for his grace....but in reality it never happens ;-)..

I still remember Janmashtami of our child hood days..a variety of delicacies were prepared..mouth watering cheedais,murukkus,appam..mmm ..My elder brother never moved away from puja room...not because of his devotion;-) He used to cordon off that area ,so that he could be the first one to grab the prasad ;-)Every year he used to succeed in his mission leaving my younger brother and myself in despair(!!) ;-) Krishna and his puja were the last preference for us..Temptation to all these wonderful,lipsmacking savouries were so high,poor Krishna had to wait for our attention..;-)

Why childhood days?Even now,during Ganesh Chaturthi,when Modaks are arranged for naivedyam and till all the procedure of naivedyam is over ,our eyes remain glued to the yummy white modaks,waiting for the naivedyam to get transformed into prasad after the water sprinkling procedure;-).. (sorry! for my horrible translation;-)))

Normally an elderly male member of the family sits to perform puja.. He is supposed to do puja sincerely ..observe the procedures like aachaman,sankalpa,.with lots of devotion and fervour... He starts uttering mantra..Om mahaganpatye namah..Om ekadantaya namah..his mind suddenly jumps to the previous year flop vada which was hard like a stone..;-) ,mmm,,Om vakrathunadaya namah.."Ae!Try to make vadas crispier...and little spicier...Do you remember last year's vada..I lost my tooth because of it" This instruction to his wife may give a sudden shock;-) to our lovely ganesha who was just enjoying the mantras praising him..;-) and not only that ...it may serve as a pathetic remainder of last year's naivedyam to him and he may get tensed about this year's new adventurous recipes;-)..

The appetizing aroma emanating from the kitchen when preparing naivedyam...is another major worry for Gods;-) because it causes complete distraction to devotees'(!!!) attention and lead them to a state called devotion deficiency :-D and ultimately Gods end up with utmost attention deficiency;-) ..To top it all,Once the naivedyam procedure is over ,both devotees and the prasad may do a vanishing act from the puja scene...;-) leaving the Gods alone ...
What worries me a lot is if the same situation continues and if Gods lose patience with our inattentiveness and impose a ban on naivedyam for an year or two...it will be very difficult for us to celebrate festivals without modaks and cheedais :(....
Cu in next post...