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This week is full of celebrations and festivals! We peeped into some of our Red Polka lovelies’ lives, and they shared their festivities and preparations with us! Here are their stories-
A Balle Balle Baisakhi
Bhangra, chhola, shag, and some more heavy-duty food coming our way! We are celebrating a vibrant Baisakhi, in Bombay…
…And we asked, what is one thing that makes Baisakhi a special one? A prompt answer- Bhangra! Meet Richa Grover! Richa is a features writer for a Film Magazine in Mumbai. What she has to share is the fact that Baisakhi is a bigger affair in Punjab, here it is mostly about food, a lot of it, and a lot of dancing.
She chooses to wear a shalwar suit, but makes sure the colours are very vibrant and fresh. The air in a Punjabi house is really cheery and happy. And the best part of this festive day is when the whole family visits the Gurudwara, to seek blessing of Guru Granth Sahib.
After which, the family gathers and attacks the dining table (almost actually), where all kinds of food await to be devoured. Richa almost salivates while she takes us through the grand menu – chhole bhature, paneer, shaag, rajma-chawal, rasedaar aaloo, kadhaa Prasad (special pudding), and dal-makhni, (“It is one happy tummy day!”- she hushes)
The warmness of the family traditions, the uber fun nuances of togetherness, the love and enthusiasm shared in Baisakhi, is what makes this festival so special- a season truly ready for harvest; in the city they harvest happiness!
We can’t jump states, but these stories are taking us house hopping, this festive week. Second on our happy mix is –
A Happy Vishu
Meet Asha Nair. Asha is a Banker by profession and totally loves the festival of Vishu. As she wishes all of us a great beginning this New Year; she tells us what makes Vishu so special for her.
A quick nostalgia trip and Asha is all smiles. She shares with us how Vishu is all about family togetherness. The beautiful Vishu Kani picture she shared with us, is an abundant mix of luscious fruits, flowers, traditional gold jewelry, money, all bedecked with a beautiful backdrop of a fan shaped Kasavu Mundu (a two set Kerala Saree) and Konha Poova (Laburnum flowers). A mirror is placed amidst this revelry, for the family members to start the year by seeing their faces in the mirror, for good luck. She says, “It’s a sight one can’t take their eyes off, with a wish that we see this bounty throughout the year.”
Her eyes light up as she tells us stories of when she was a small girl, she would sport her new clothes, and would get ready to receive Vishukaineetam (goodwill cash prize); now she drapes a tradition Kerala Saree, and joyfully gives gifts to her younger visitors on this day.
Asha poses for us in a Mundu. She says “it is a great feeling to get in touch with my roots and traditions. I love the Malayali look with Mundu, and the Chandan on the forehead, and traditional gold jewellery. And of course the mogra flowers in the hair.” (Chuckles, as she dons a bob!)
Now the highlights, the grand Vishu Sadhya (a sumptuous festive spread of food), let the picture do the talking, we had a “yummy” time for sure! With this warm story and hot food on the platter, we wish you had a very happy Vishu.
This candid interaction with Asha brings a tingle in our spine and a cheer in our hearts, for how women connect, and how they pour their hearts out while doing things for their families.
So, now that two gleeful stories fill up our hearts, there is one more! Meet a fashionista herself, a Red Polka lover, Preeti Roy Choudhary Karmakar. Preeti is a correspondent for a Dubai based entertainment magazine. She is a newly wed bride. For her the transition from a spoon-fed daughter, to now a woman of the house, preparing for the festivities, was quite an experience.
A Sweet and Spicy Pohela Boishakh
She prefers to start her story with food- “Nolen gur er paayesh (kheer made from nolen jaggery) is my favourite, then kosha mangsho (mutton curry), begun bhaaja( eggplant fritters), rice and tok daal (sour dal), these, I cooked independently for the first time ever!” She laughs at the fact that how she totally missed making sweets! (“I am learning”, she whispers.)
A typical Bengali family wakes up early in the morning, after a fresh bath, they perform a small Durgo Pujo, and the holy conch is blown. Preeti shares stories of her mother winning conch-shell blowing contests in her locality, on festive celebrations- this and Durgo Puja.
Her favourite part is when she and her husband, Siddharth, visit their parents. Here they seek blessings of their elders, and in return get all the goodies, and a lot of love.
Preeti draped in her Laal Paar Shaada Saree-
We thoroughly enjoyed the festivities that these beautiful ladies shared with us. The best part- they are our Red Polka friends! It’s amazing how we are growing into a community of friends, discovering stories everyday, just like we discover and crave fabulous designs in fashion and lifestyle. 🙂