August 23, 2011

It was Janmashtami, So?

As I had mentioned earlier too, I would be a very good example of Festival downer. This Janmashtami, B's parents were visiting us, and hence, we all kept a fast, ate enormous quantities of fatty, fried food items, and that too mainly consisting of potatoes. Well, I would not really call it a fast, it was anything but.

The birth of Lord Krishna is a day which is celebrated all over India, and is given various names. A funny fact was that there is a difference in the day, as its celebrated in the south and north of India. The festivities on the day are also very different. The fast, as I know it in the south, is just fruits, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which means that you do not have a heavy meal the whole day. This is also a fast which I have not done, in spite of knowing its detox effects. 

So, this was the first time in 28 years I have ever gone on this fast, and I did not particularly like it. I would certainly prefer to have the detox fast. Having only fried items through the entire day, certainly gave me a sick feeling, and certainly did not suit my tummy. In fact I was quite worried that T would also have a upset tummy due to the sudden influx of oil into her system. I tried to counter the effect with some ayurvedic tummy relieving stuff, but I wonder whether that was of any effect. A part of the food which I enjoyed was the ragi flour used for the fried potatoes, and also for the fried puris. I am particularly fond of ragi flour, the taste and obviously for its health reasons. In fact during pregnancy, I had particularly enjoyed ragi puttu all through. 

Now, we get back to janmashtami… at the stroke of 12, which is when Lord Krishna was born, there is a small pooja done and only after dinner is served. Dinner mainly consists of potato curry, ragi rotis, fruits and a salad. 

After the day, I was wondering, did we really do this with a religious bend of mind? I did not ! I took part in the pooja and had dinner after 12, but was that the only things to be done as part of the festivities? I am not aware of anything else, maybe visit the temple would the other obvious option. Do you find all the festivals particularly festive?


  1. Festivals are meant to with family so that part is definitely festive;) Fasts for Maharastrians is also full of potatoes, groundnut and fried and they too eat the entire day!!!!

    Confirm whether it was ragi flour or kuttu ka aata.In north people don't use ragi but use kuttu or singara flour ( waternut) These two flours are very healthy to have for various reasons like rich in iron, potassium etc and gud for lactating mothers. Fried is bad but these flour are very healthy for consumption.

  2. It's all relative. One person's broth is another person's feast.
    You believe in it, it's sacred/festive. You don't, it's not.
    It's as simple as that, don't you think?

  3. @Aradhana: Well, if its just a family gathering, then yes, that certainly does seem to be ensured with holidays also being given on those days.
    Yes, I did check... its kuttu ka atta, not ragi. It looked very similar to me. Had never tasted buckwheat flour before either...

    @Priyanka I agree.. its simpler when its choice and you do what you believe in. But, in that case, i would celebrate no festival.. but rather travel during those holidays!

  4. somewhere in college i kind of lost interest in all the poojas & vraths because my relatives (not my parents) would thrust it down my throat ki yeh karo woh karo & adding "kaisi ladki ho". i'd hate that & revolt & do things just to irk them.
    over time, festivals for me meant lots of thindi. that's all. i lost track of the individual significance of our countless festivals. they all started looking & feeling similar to me & the only factor to look forward to was the lavish festive food

    good post Aathira. urges you to reflect

  5. I am not much of a pooja paath person... I was more into the FOOd side of the occassion..

    I jsut enjoy the festival to be with friends and family and EAT ...

  6. Another excuse to spend quality time with the family. Something we truly miss living abroad :)

  7. I love celebrating Durga Puja and for us Bengalis it is more about food than fasting.


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