Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baer,Makko,Sarsattee Mata and Boondiya aka Basant Panchami

Oh no not again...
i go downstairs to get some fresh veggies and what do i see. Vendors here vendors there... .
Vendors selling teaser s.
Teaser s my favorites into which i cannot bite with indulgence anymore. Feel no enthusiasm in narrating the hopelessly eroded condition of 'that' protective layer.
'That' which once upon a time enabled my pearly whites to take at least 100 gms of raw mangoes/ tamarind or for that matter anything deliciously sour non stop in one go.
Poor me! if it could be possible i would've drowned in the remains of the salivary glands working overtime had i not swallowed them up in huge gulps.
i got them and although i could have some of one i could barely go through half of the other one.
But still felt happy nevertheless.
Maybe because they prompted and provoked me to a revisit.

Just another tour down memory lane. Of Saraswati Pooja...that sudden welcome holiday...the prasad ( sacrament) which definitely had these and something else...Boondiya...the immersion of idols...and hahaha can't help laughing still just to remember the CCs... cheap chokras (boys) who went bonkers on the idol immersion day...dancing vulgar moves to latest bollywood songs shouting in chorus, " Sarsattee Mata Ki Jai...
Holi the festival of colors commencing...

And we call it Basant Panchami.
Basant-Spring...  joyful yellow of mustard flowers Spring and the auspicious day to pay obeisance to the Goddess of learning Ma Saraswati. ( Ma- Mother)

i shall not hesitate now to show through some of mine and also the borrowed ones what i mean.
First the wonderful jujube. That which i could indulge into some.
Ziziphus jujuba i remember that clearly of what we call in Hindi as Baer. Resplendent as the color of spring.
Then that gooseberry Physalis peruviana. We called it Makko. But those selling these in the baskets roaming on the roadsides with bunches clipped together chanted Rasbharee, Rasbharee in a strange manner which made such a lovely name Rasbhari meaning juicy sound like some magic voodoo chant. The one i could barely eat through half.
Also spring colored.

Saraswati Pooja (worship of Goddess of Learning) and since i could not find anything appropriate of my own place Patna i shall borrow this which was the closest i could get to my own rituals which in all resembles this one excepting the language which is in Bengali.

Before i forget just another one. Sweet Boondi
Boondiya as we called it and for which we hopped the very many pandals and let me be very honest here. Boondiya came first and then Jai Ma Saraswati till we were grown up enough to know the difference between faith and sacrilege.
A visit to the pandal with rituals reversed now, first Salutations to Ma Saraswati and then Tirth/ Charnamrit ( Holy Drink) and finally The BOONDIYA!!!

Definitely the post is not complete without this. Hahahahahahahaha....Oh those dance moves that sent us into uncontrollable fits of laughter and in retrospect i think that perhaps it was done on purpose. There was no sadness to crib about the happiness lasting too soon of that sudden holiday...of the pandal that looked deserted and strewn with  the remains of what was just a few minutes back of a celebration...just happiness and laughter as we looked forward to comparing notes and mimicking the CCs the very next day in school. There was abundant joy of the celebration gone by heralding another lots of fun one- the festival of colors-Holi. 
Thanks to Mr Ravi Verma for uploading this...the sight that made us laugh and still does as we watched from our terrace/ balcony/ verandah. The day of the immersion of the idol in the nearby river. For us in Patna it always is The Ganges.

i have to get moving now...i have my own  real Pandal hopping to do. i have to hurry now if at all  i have to share that which is not in the memory but here, NOW. The Bengali association of our housing society has invited me to the Saraswati Pooja and i sure am looking forward to seeking the blessing of the Goddess, drink the Holy Drink, eat the Prasad and finally all that color playing , the dancing moves, the works...
O' and before i forget Pandaal is the colloquial word which means temporary structures erected during Hindu festivals. Canopied and decorated the pandals are where the idols are installed and later the rituals are performed to seek the blessings of Gods and Goddesses. Anybody or everybody is free to go, invitation or no invitation. And they all receive everything.

So then here's a glimpse of what i have just had the opportunity of receiving.
Goddess Saraswati  holding the Veena on one hand and Showering blessings with the other.

Her Face...the face of Mother

Prasad with Boondiya already eaten

Prasad to be shared with boondiya intact

Janta ( public) enjoying more varieties, hot, fresh and scrumptiously yummy Prasad and here too Ladies + Kids first.

The forehead smeared with blessings and Holi

Last look at Veena Pustak Dharani Ma
And since The Mother knows EVERYTHING i have no qualms in expressing that while the heart chants the shloka Ya Kundedu Tushar Haar...

...the words that spill out of the mouth is Sarsattee Mata Kee Jai! Sarsattee Mata Ki Jai!!.
Glory be of Mother! Glory To The Mother!!

.                                                                     Glossary:
                                                        Veena: Musical Instrument
                                                        Pustak: Book
                                                        Dharani: Holding


  1. I really appreciate the way u have narrated wholething abot sarasati pooja.It will hepl ignorant people like me to know our rich n beatiful tradition.Ur aricle is really Gnan Ka Bhandar. KEEPIT UP

  2. @ Anonymous thank you for stopping by and appreciating my post.Although there was not much gyan here only memories. Thank you once again if you found the post giving you some. :)

  3. Though u have recollected memories but it gives lot of i consider it gyan.Ur write up takes us to our school days whn there was no mobile,facebook ,internet etc and we use to look 4 such occasion to enjoy.Admirable write up.

  4. @ Anonymous thank you once again. So true like you've just mentioned we sure did look forward to this and many many more like this.For us Holi and then Easter holidays which was a bonanza-4 days in a row.:)

  5. Never knew that idol of even saraswati ma is immersed. Thanks a lot for documenting these traditions

  6. @ Navita hey what a pleasant and Basanti surprise. Gud to see and hear you here. Dear frnd so many of our rituals r getting extinct...meaning either people r too busy or those who knew what to do have left us. The new generation has no time or patience nor the inclination...and it's strange how they want to celebrate Haloween or even Valentine's. Times have changed but I feel as u go far from the madding crowds in those quiet remote corners, in villages no one knows the name of...our festivals are still alive...our rituals...choti choti khushiyaan...all r still there...
    And I am hopeful one day all shall come back to us.
    Thank u frnd for taking time out and giving me company in my nostalgia trip.