Wishing all my friends and family for whom today marks the start of the New Year, a “Happy Ugadi”. Ugadi is celebrated in many states of India, including Andhra, Telangana, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and others too!
Ugadi brings back a lot of memories for me. Ofcourse the top-most memory is eating “Ugadi Pacchadi”, that unique mouth-watering chutney which is an amalgamation of 6 ingredients – tender mango, fresh tamarind, new jaggery, fresh neem flowers, salt and green chillies! Each ingredient lends its distinct flavour to the chutney and is used metaphorically to convey different experiences in one’s life.
Ugadi usually falls right before the summer heat starts, so it is also a tradition in some parts of Andhra/Telangana to make this dish in a cooling clay pot. We tend to buy a fresh claypot a couple of days before Ugadi, soak it in water for 2- 3 days and then add all the ingredients to this pot. It keeps the chutney cool, and yes the clay pot can be used later on for drinking water!
Another very important part of Ugadi celebrations is the unveiling of that year’s panchangam! Panchangam or Panchang is the Vedic astrological chart.
Ugadi is one festival that to me always had literary connotations. Panchanga shravanam (hearing) was a regular feature on TV on Ugadi day, along with Poetry recitals
This Ugadi, I am feeling truly delighted to be sharing our second audiobook– Taathamma Kathalu. This is a collection of 12 short stories written in collaboration with 3 grandmothers and 3 grandfathers from our family. The stories are based on their life experiences and they convey the meaning of commonly used Telugu proverbs, called Samethalu.
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