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Puthandu


Welcoming the new Year
 those of us who live in
 the Southern states of India
 turn ecstatic on April 14

Telugus hail the new Year
 as Ugadi, while Vishu 
is celebrated in Kerala
 and Karnataka with enthusiasm.

Tamils call it Puthandu.
Gudi Padawa  to the Marathis.
A worship with different names
enacted with similar customs.

Prayers  to the Gods
 with offerings of fruits, 
coconuts and delicacies 
 spread around the tall oil lamp

placed over the kolam ( drawing )
mark the dawn of the New Year.
The family gathers around 
 stay together, blow the conch,

take arathi  chant mantras,
 pay obeisance to the Gods 
and elders, seeking 
their blessings,

it is both fun and  cheer
that go with the rituals 
 which solicit   a togetherness 
 becoming a rarity nowadays.