Of karma and dharma this Gudi Padwa!

IPL has taken the entire nation by storm again. Last night’s match between SRH and RCB was so gripping, especially the super over! It is not every day that we get to see one of the world’s finest batsman, Chris Gayle facing the world’s fastest bowler, Dale Steyn! Hope the match on April 11, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders is as interesting, because I will be flying to Bengaluru to present the prize to the winning team. Quite exhilarating, I must say! The 11th also happens to be Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year. This year, however it will be a South Indian celebration of New Year for me. Here in Karnataka this day is celebrated as Ugadi.

Something about the festival – Gudi Padwa, the first day of chaitra, marks the beginning of the spring season for the Maharashtrians. An upturned silver or gold kalash called the gudi is placed on top of a stick and covered with bright coloured cloth and other decorations and hung outside the house. A paste of neem leaves, jaggery, tamarind and ajwain is made and eaten first thing in the morning on this day. The age old reason behind eating this bitter sweet mixture is so significant in our lives today! It indicates that life is a mixture of good and bad, happiness and sorrow. It is important that we gracefully accept everything that it has in store for us, because you never know the importance of light until you have been in darkness. In the Maharashtrian tradition, Gudi Padwa is one of the four most auspicious days of the year to celebrate weddings, house-warmings and inaugurations of business ventures and for buying gold, silver or property.

India is rightly called the “land of festivals” which is very true, as I really feel that there is a festival to celebrate in each month and the festivities just go on for the entire year! Be it a Gujarati, a Punjabi, a Bengali or for that matter a person belonging to any religion, one or the other festival is there to give a reason to be happy, eat, drink and be merry! But, have you ever given it a thought as to why these days have just become an excuse to get a holiday or a day-off from work? This is when dharma and karma come into the picture. Even the Bhagvad Gita teaches us that we should keep doing our karma without thinking of the results, but the trend with humans is that, they make dharma a reason to shirk away from their karma (work). I am definitely not against any religion, festivals or the traditional celebrations that happen during these, all I’m trying to say is that we should take these festivals in the right spirit and not just blindly follow the rituals and symbolisms associated with them. These are created by humans only, even the Gods did not preach about any of them – so, this year, let’s all together promise that we will follow the inherent message of Gudi Padwa, by being true and dedicated to our work (karma) which earns us our breads because by doing so our dharma will automatically get pleased and we will be happy forever! And then, some masti, here and there, is always a part of life and if we are happy on the whole, we will be able to enjoy it even more!

While I’ll be in Bengaluru enjoying some palate tickling Karnataka cuisine, I would recommend you all to try out some joints like Prakash and Aswadh in Dadar with their authentic Maharashtrian thalis along with the ever-favourite dishes like sabudana vadas, masala bhaat, shrikhand; special amrakhands at Samant Brothers in Vile Parle (E); puran polis at Diva Maharashtra in Andheri (W) and Mahim and delightful ukdiche modaks at Modakam in Prabhadevi and a lot more Gudi Padwa specialities that are available at these places, alternatively you could also try making some dishes at home.

Also, try your hands on some of the most popular recipes associated with this festival:

         

Let me know how the recipes turned out.

Here’s wishing all a very Happy Gudi Padwa. God bless.

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

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