Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ponggalo Ponggal

Inniya Ponggal Nalvalthukal

One of the things I love about ponggal is the creative ways people transport the sugar cane around. Now the folks in KL get pretty short ones that fit into cars. Around here, our sugar canes nearly twice the height of a person. So the bikers usually sling it on their shoulders and drive one or bring along a passenger who holds it for them. Now where are those pictures you ask?

Ponggal Devi  IMG_3987kl1

Well we were busy trying to transport our sugar cane. Mom was planning to drag it back home when I figured lets just stuff it into the car and it kinda worked with most of it hanging out of the car. Well the whole neighbourhood was pretty amused with it ;p

If you’ve followed this blog long enough you’ll know i have an obsession with ponggal just like the rest of the folks here. The day before was the last day of Margzhali or better known as Bhogi by most people. Over here everyone turned up in sarees as early as 4.30 am for the last crazy mid morning prayers.

This was the kolam I put at home for Ponggal and the reason why my fingers were red for the day.

On ponggal day the usual suspects turned up to cook the sweet rice. Now ponggal signifies a lot of things. Mostly its the harvest festival in thanksgiving to sun and earth for a bountiful crop. It is also known as Makara Sankranti where the month of thai begins in the Makara rasi and signifies the beginning of day time for the devas and hence why the term – Thai porandhal valli pohrakkum (the start of Thai shall bring new beginnings).

Now we have a new priest in the temple. A pain in the ass more like it, he has got such a huge ego, its pretty sad given he isn’t stupid. Nutcase took 2 hours to cook ponggal!

I guess he figured people in Malaysia didn’t know how to cook on an open fire. I have very choice words to use on him but refrained from doing so. The reason it took so long? There’s a reason the stones for the fire area are placed in three points, its not for beauty purpose only. First it gives you different points to put in the firewood and most importantly allows the access of wind and a outlet for smoke to escape. Our brilliant dude decided one exit point was enough and made sure every other point was sealed!

We had a good laugh for a while on his expense and finally when we couldn’t take it one of the uncles and I moved it to his protest. Seconds later the fire stocked up, the milk started boiling, he retreated and within minutes we were singing pongaalo ponggal.

And then he claims he hasn’t done ponggal for sometime. Err if you haven’t let someone else do it right? He promptly burned the bottom of the rice since he refused to stir or let anyone else stir the rice. Anyway as usual I got the first ponggal for the day. I’m still upset it wasn’t sweet enough.

Where do we find such nutcases? Beats me but the good news is he’s leaving soon – yeehaw ;p

Anyway I hope everyone had a good ponggal ;)

ps: the links go to previous posts i've done on Ponggal

V-Eyez Imagery
My photography blog
V-Eyez Imagery on Facebook


Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful looking kolam.


Gayathree said...

hi ive been ur SR for some time...ur kolams are really beautiful and neat... i can make rangolis with no issue but whenever i make rice flour kolam, most of the time its not even... a fren of mine suggested to me to use a brush but i still believe it can be achieved using free hand.... does it have to do with the mixture's consistency?...

Visithra said...

thanks kajan ;)

gayathree : thanks for commenting ;)

the consistency helps - it can neither be too thick or too runny - i also use a cloth to facilitate drawing the lines longer - also you need a very steady hand n not hesitate while drawing - it has to be done fast