Pongal – a day of celebration and reflection

Every ending gives birth to a new begining. Let’s welcome Pongal, the harvest thanksgiving festival.

Today we big adeau to winter and long nights.

We thank nature, man and god for the year past.

Our energies are renewed – as we welcome warmer, happier (hopefully!) times

Hold a second though, should we also not reflect for a minute on its relevance for us:

Our anscestors sowed grains and reaped a harvest. What did we sow, and what did we harvest?

Our anscestors lived in sync with a cyclical nature – and adapted to nature’s seasons. Winter went only to come the next year. Today, we live in a technology-fueled world with several “step” disruptions. Video tapes came and vanished, VCDs, DVDs, Blue ray….each comes and goes – but for ever – as its replacement takes center stage.

I typed my first blog on a PC at home, the next few on a laptop, then moved onto a tablet and this one on a phablet on the “go”. This is cool.

An impacted Ozone layer and El Nino, titanium wars, microwave hazards are uncool.

So technologies are cool, the way we use them may not quite be so. Time to turn back and ponder – what did we do last year, what did we harvest? And what do we look for this new year?

Christmas time

So we are alive and well! The Mayans’ it turns out were predicting quite something else ( loss of india’s cricketing dominance even on turning pitches home maybe?) and not the end of the world.

We get therefore to celebrate Christmas 2012 – and celebrations and sparkling conversations are holding center stage  around the world.

In this time of good will and peace (and good food), its kind of easy to think of our world as a delicious gift with a blue ribbon around it – and perhaps that’s the right way to do so.

For this festival seems to be inclusive and truly ancient – and has orgins tracing back to the sun god Mitra (by way of hailing  the return of the Sun post a dark winter) per my googling adventures. The misteltoe, christmas tree and other rituals too could possibly be traced back to the early roots of civilization (just do a search for “christmas day orgin” in google.com). So this christmas maybe we can say thanks to Jesus ( one of the most compassionate messiahs to land on earth) and also raise a toast to nature for giving us of her bountiful and heralding the rise of the sun after the long winter (also celebrated -albeit after a short winter – in southern India as pongal, the harvest festival).

Time to say Merry christmas now – and to wonder and celebrate the thoughtfulness and ingenuity of our elders in providing such festivals for us to partake in.

Happy Pongal….

A festival just for saying thanks to the sun. The sun which nourishes our earth, gives us warmth, stimulates growth and allows us to see and experience life. And expects nothing in return.

How beautiful. A festival of gratitude. Celebrated all over India – the harvest festival is a time of hope, joy and gratitude from a bountiful harvest. It’s celebrated to hail the dawn of a period of light and the end of winter and darkness (longer days as the sun traverses through the northern hemisphere…).

The ancients had it planned thus:
Day 1 – rid yourself of the old and unwanted, declutter your home and paint it afresh and get ready for a wonderful spring
Day 2 – Offer gratitude to the sun and the gods for their benevolence over the year. Cook some newly harvested rice in a pot – let it bubble and overflow – and wish the world a similar year overflowing with the good things
Day 3 – take care of things that made the harvest and a great year possible – cows, (or tracters or cars today!)…whatever. Honor them and thank them for their Contribution.
Day 4 – take the family out on a picnic and let your hair down. Celebrate your achievements.

The framework sound good? It celebrates all that is crucial to our wellbeing – the gods, our tools and work, our family and ourselves.

In the spirit of the ancients, let us offer thanks to – our coworkers, family and friends, the earth and sun – and pat ourselves for having seen through another year – and hopefully with a lot of learnings and success. And let’s raise a toast to the year ahead and wish for light (internal and external) to descend upon us through the grace of our most ancient god – The Sun..