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Sunday, September 6, 2020

City reboots ! ~ reminiscing Sankranthi urgola uthsavam purappadu 2008

 The city is rebooting ! ~ people are seen everywhere ! – good for the economy but have things really changed ?  

India has overtaken Brazil to now become the country with the second-largest number of people infected with novel coronavirus. More than 41.13 lakh people in India have so far been found to have been infected with the virus. Brazil, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, has 40.41 lakh infected people. Only the United States, where more than 60 lakh people have so far been infected, is ahead of India now. In the process of overtaking Brazil on Saturday, India also scaled a new high in the number of new cases detected in a single day. More than 90,000 new infections were discovered on that day. No country has recorded more than 75,000 new cases in a single day since the outbreak began.  

Chennai metropolis has been behaving throwing caution to winds all the time.  On Friday, the Corporation collected a fine of Rs 2.45 lakh from 600 individuals, who failed to wear masks and establishments that did not enforce social distancing. With business across Chennai city slowly getting back to normal, the civic body is gearing up to tackle any situation, by increasing the number of beds at Covid care centres. “Although the occupancy is quite low —only around 3,000 of 20,000 beds at Covid Care Centres filled — we are planning to increase availability of beds.  The aim is to stay prepared for anything, although we are not seeing any alarming trend as of now,” a senior Corporation official was quoted as saying. The civic body is also taking into consideration the possibility of several educational institutions in the city, which have been converted temporarily into care centres, resuming operations. Following the unlock, the city corporation has also made a few other changes in its approach to Covid containment. For instance, tin sheets that used to be nailed to the entrance of patients’ houses have been done away with. “Instead, we have told our volunteers to ensure that people from those houses don’t step out. We have also found that in most cases, people do follow our instructions and stay indoors,” the official added. “We will watch the trend for the next 30 days and make changes in our measures wherever needed,” he said.  

Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday promulgated an ordinance making violation of Covid-19 lockdown guidelines and preventive measures, like wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, compoundable offences. Based on the proposal sent by the state government, Governor Banwarilal Purohit promulgated the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2020 to carry out amendments to the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 (Tamil Nadu Act III of 1939).  

We draw solace that Temples are open and we are able to have darshan of Emperuman.  Looking back at Temple events and the festivities – reminiscing the past, seeing pictures of earlier purappadus all make us happy. Here are some photos of Makara Sankranthi purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni divaydesam way back on 15.01.2008 [yes 12 years ago !]  

The day 15.1.2008 was  a day of celebration ~ ‘Pongal” – the harvest festival celebrated as ‘Makara Sankranthi’ in many parts of India.  Pongal is a week long festival  ~ this in fact is the time of harvest festivals across the Country variedly called:  Pongal, Makar Sankranthi, Lohri, Bihu, Hogada .. ..   Kites are an intrinsic part of Sankrant celebrations in Harayana, Delhi, UP and some other places;  so are delicacies made of til (sesame seeds) and jaggery. People wake up early, adorn themselves in new warm clothes and offer their thanks to the Sun God. Later through the day, they fly kites while munching into delicacies like til ladoo, rewadi, gajak, peanuts.   In Tamil Nadu, it is Pongal and Chakkarai Pongal (jiggery sweetened pongal delicacy) 

In Tamil Nadu, it is Pongal ~ derived from a Tamil word, Pongal means to boil. Rice is boiled in milk and offered to the sun first and then cows and then to the family and friends.  Now it is the month of ‘Thai’  ~ and here is sweet verses of Sri Goda piratti Andal.: -  

தையொரு திங்களும் தரைவிளக்கித் தண்மண்டலமிட்டு மாசிமுன்னாள்

ஐயநுண் மணற்கொண்டு தெருவணிந்து அழகினுக் கலங்கரித்தனங்கதேவா

உய்யவுமாங்கொலோவென்று சொல்லி உன்னையும் உம்பியையும் தொழுதேன்

வெய்யதோர் தழலுமிழ் சக்கரக்கை வேங்கடவற்கென்னை விதிக்கிற்றியே.  


The month of Margazhi was all about Thiruppavai and nonbu.  Andal’s other work is ‘Nachiyar Thirumozhi’ -  Nachiyar is Devi; consort of Sriman Narayana.  Thirumozhi is sacred saying.  Andal has presented  garland of flowers and garland of poetry to Lord.  Now in the month of Thai, Andal sweeps the place, beautifies it, bedecks the place, worships for her union with the radiant Lord of Thirumala hills.   

Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rasi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. From today, it is the month of ‘Thai’ – which commences ‘Uttarayāyaa, a term derived from two different Sanskrit words "Uttara" (North) and "ayana" (movement) thus indicating a semantic of the northward movement of the Sun on the celestial sphere.  On ‘Bhogi’ ~ the day before the Pongal, it was the divine wedding of  Sri Andal with the Perumal she idolized and sang in Her prabandhams.  Andal Thirukkalyanam follows the Pavai nonbu and the 9 days of Neeratta Uthsavam.  After the grand vivaham, today it was Sankranthi Oorgola Uthsavam.  

Sankranthi is  purappadu of newly wed Divya Thampathis - Sri Andal and Sri Parthasarathi grandly occurs  in a special open palanquin [one that had no roof known as kooralam].  Sri Parthasarathi,  embellished with many dazzling ornaments adorning the Crown [Sigathadai]; Sri Andal in a beautiful sitting posture sitting opposite to Him in the same pallakku.  

Here are some photos of the Sankranthi Urgola Uthsava purappadu of 2008.


adiyen ~ Srinivasa dhasan.

Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar.



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