Happy Deepavali

A very belated happy Deepavali to all you friends out there. I hope all of you had a happy and safe Deepavali. It was on a weekend this year, which certainly was very helpful in making it a happy festival. As far as safe is concerned, we had no access to all those 100-walas and 1000-walas.. or for that matter to the bijli vedis, and hence was all very safe. Of course, we were’nt being very safe with our health. Like every other festival with the exception of Vaikunta Ekadesi, we ate an unimaginable amount of unhealthy food that I am pretty sure is the reason I feel heavier this week, and the same reason my daughter is sick with an upset stomach at home.

In preparation for Deepavali this year, I took the Friday off and spent most of the day putting my stove to work. My mother-in-law had already made a 5-cup cake and Manankombu @ Mul-murukku. On Friday, I started off making the badam cake using a recipe I got off the internet. I have to admit that it really was much easier than expected, and turned out very well. Right after, I attempted making the Kaajalu. My mother made it long ago, when we lived in Hyderabad, and we relished it a lot. Of course it appeared pretty complicated to make, and the end product looked very interesting. I asked my mother for the recipe and added a few things I picked up from the internet and the end product turned out really well.

We had bought our usual new clothes, sweater and jeans for me, t-shirt and jeans for my daughter and a shirt and trousers for my husband. I ended up wearing a silk saree though that my m-i-l got me for the Grihapravesam. It was late in the night before I was done cleaning up and setting everything to be ready for Deepavali the next day. My m-i-l made the Deepavali marundhu which a strong concotion of different herbs etc that are useful to act as an antidote for all the junk you consume during Deepavali. She also made the oil for the “yennai sasthram” – basically heated some Sesame Oil with an unbroken red chilli and anise seeds (omam). The night before Deepavali, the custom in my husband’s family is to make bajjis. Of course nobody wants to change such an interesting tradition, so bajji was consumed. That night, thanks to my co-sister V, we ended up putting on some mehendi and slept with our hands tied in plastic bags all night.

In spite of wanting to wake up early in the morning, it was 7 when I woke up with a jolt. My m-i-l did the “yennai sasthram” for all of us and we did our “ganga snanam” and wore our new clothes. That was followed by calls back and forth to India and other friends and relatives living in the US. It seems there wasn’t all that much of a fuss about Deepavali crackers this year. Kids these days think about pollution and their eco-footprints. We had our friends P, Fa and their daughter S over and ate a very heavy lunch. 

In the night, we had some sparklers saved from last year’s July 4 purchases. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed it. At the end of the long day, she told me she liked Deepavali – that made all the trouble so worthwhile!

And now for some pictures..


18 thoughts on “Happy Deepavali

  1. Wowo fantastic! I missed doing the oil bath this year. I actually forgot what goes in it. A bit envious of that! I am sure a good oil bath helped you stay warm too- I am sure it is getting chilly there! Both spiced you put in that would increase heat in the body, I believe.

    Rekha: May be that was the reason they added all that to the oil. Having a head-bath at 4:00 am in October may not be all that good otherwise.

  2. Me

    How how how? How do you have so much enthu to do so many bakshanams? I get tired porichfying vadams for few minutes…engendhu Thenkuzhal & Mul-Murukku….

    Btw adhu enna peru Kaajalu… edho Telugu ponnu paer maari irukku..:)

    Rekha: Haha.. Deepavali na thaana enthu engaendho varum. Plus if I didn’t, two days later onga kitaendhu email varrum.. where are the deepavali pictures appdinu.. appo I cannot put a picture of payasam and say.. this is what I made illaya??
    Kaajaalu is a Telugu sweet. My mother made it when we are in Hyderabad.. You can call it the Telugu equivalent of Badusha.. just a bit tastier in my opinion.

  3. Hamsaanandini

    Woa!! You made kaajaluu!! Is it different from madata kaajalu? Its really very YUMMY! I hope it wasn’t as complicated as it looks like. I remember eating it in rajahmundry packed in a very interesting banana leaf potlam!! I haven’t eaten it in a single household after that and you made it in America! Hats off to you maami! (Your daughter is so lucky!)

    Rekha: This is the same madata Kaajalu that you are referring. It is a little complicated but not as bad as it looks.

  4. Meena

    Look at you .. such a good family person…now you are
    Making so much bakshanams…celebrating every hindu festival to the core…
    I cud’nt believe is this the same PADIPPS rekha.. calling me at 3:00 clock in the morning to find out if Iam still studying…
    Shud deftly visit you sometime…

    Rekha: For the record.. I did not wake you up at 3:00 a.m. and yes you should definitely visit sometime.

  5. Hi there!
    I happened to read your interesting article on Diwali! I am no regular blogger but have been surfing to read about Madras (my home town) lately and ran across many interesting blogs. I especially liked the images of the snacks and they are salivating 🙂 Haven’t seen one of those in years 🙂 The ones i get to buy at the store sucks 😦 Well, happy belated diwali to you too!

    Rekha: Happy Diwali Venu!

  6. Delicious and good for health too. The greatness of Indian traditions is that everything is aimed towards a healthy and peaceful living, both physically and spiritually. You rarely see such activities or festivals that celebrate life in the fullest.

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