Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Vishu

A Day in the Life-page 6 color pencils and pen

Happy Vishu - New Year to all. Today is New Year for most of the people in southern India. I did this page in my sketchbook for the Fiction project 'A day in the Life - in Blue Jeans with Gold Embroidery' a few weeks ago and waited to post :) The entry describes a ceremony from most Hindu households in the south on Vishu-Ugady day.

The copy reads:
I light the lamp on my altar. A mirror is the latest addition -a reminder of a special kind. In southern India where I grew up, the New Year is ushered in with a ceremony many centuries old. The night before, a special shrine is assembled in prayer room/corner with season's first fresh vegetables and ripe fruits, arranged around a mirror draped with fresh flowers and gold jewelry. The next morning, each family member is led to the shrine with the eyes closed. We open our eyes in front of the shrine looking into the mirror, now surrounded by lit lamps. shining in the midst of this beauty and abundance is our own face in the mirror. It is a beautiful reminder of the divinity in each of us. The same divinity that pervades all. I wanted to have that reminder everyday of my life.

I did assemble the special 'kani' shrine last night and looked in the mirror  this morning :) And a mirror has been a permanent addition in my altar since January 1 - the new year in the western calendar.

10 comments:

Heera said...

Happy Vishu Meera. What a beautiful ceremony! I only remember the bitter neem leaf chutney for Ugadi at our house.

meera said...

Thanks Mangala! Yes that too -- but we were also given panchamruta --milk, banana,honey, ghee & curds mixed together- reminder that life is a mix of bitter-sweet. But as kids, we always got a bigger dollop of the sweet mix and just a lick of the bitter chutney with a blessing from the adults that may our life be sweet :)

padmaja said...

From Gudi Padwa to Ugadi, the traditions differ slightly, but the intention remains the same isnt it Meera? I got to celebrate GudiPadwa and today tamil varsha pirappu as well:-)

meera said...

Padmaja, I was not too familiar with Gudi Padwa --but reading up on it just now I will agree with you! We actually had to eat/drink 'panchagavya' along with 'panchamruta.' -and 'panchagavya' was also bitter but I think the ingredients were different. I will have to check with my parents :)

B said...

happy vishu to u too.. We celebrated a day late this year...and its way too cold.Love the writing and illustraions

meera said...

Thanks B! When I called home, I was informed they were celebrating on the 15th too :) I didn't realize this year there was a adjusting of the calendar.

Thaikaden said...

Very nice Meera. Hope you enjoyed well. I couldn't because of work. The ingredients of Panchagavya are Milk,curd,ghee,cow-dung and cow-urine. (Is it more bitter now?)

meera said...

@Thaikaden, thank you! --I thought cow dung and urine were the other ingredients, but didn't want to mention it until I was sure :)

Kathy Staicer said...

Another great sketch and another wonderful glimpse into your culture.

meera said...

Thanks Kathy! I have been lucky to have the advantages of eastern and western cultures :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...