HYDERABAD: Makara Sankranthi”, a major harvest festival of India is principally celebrated in the villages, following many age old traditions and customs.
In the agrarian Telugu land, Sankranthi holds even a more significant position. With the fast disappearing Telugu “festival culture” due to many factors (can we blame the onslaught of urbanisation and western culture?); we don’t get to see the true flavour of the festivities even in the present day villages. The recreated and staged festivals on the celluloid (and also the small screen) lack a certain sense of true participation and the original flavour. Often we are left with no choice but to be virtual participants, in the celebrations that are superficial, theatrical and empty.
In this scenario, thanks to the commendable efforts of a committed team at “Nirvana” (near Chilkur village, Hyderabad), “Sankranthi Utsav” took place recently, giving hundreds of people, a unique and homely festive experience - with absolutely no entrance fees and an open house that served the choicest traditional snacks and meals, all free of charge. Guests participated with enthusiasm as they witnessed the traditional customs being revived and our Telugu culture resuscitated. It was there for the younger generation to see and revel in our legacy; for the older generation it was bringing back the sweet memories of their childhood. One of the core members behind the event, Sri Ravi Kishore said the purpose behind giving this kind of experience especially to the youngsters is, to let them know about our culture, so that they will value our customs and keep the traditions going on for future generations.
The festive spirit at “Nirvana” was manifold. Strains of Nadaswaram mingled with the peppy and vigorous performances of a team that comprised “Haridasulu”,
“Pothuraju”, “Budabukkalavadu” etc. Well decorated “Gangireddulu” performed unique feats. Little children had showers of “Bhogipallu” besides blessings of course! Elegant and innovative floral decorations vied with each other. “Bommala
Koluvu”, “Dasavatharalu” (displayed in water), “Gobbemmalu” were some of the many attractions. People sang and danced, not just to showcase their talent, but out of sheer joy of sharing the festive fervour. Food was a great hit!! Awareness about the nutritional value of millets was brought about very interestingly by serving the guests with many traditional snacks; delicious sweets, crunchy namkeens and scrumptious meals made out of millets.
The large hearted hosts were richly rewarded with grateful compliments. The graceful lady behind the show, Smt. Leela was all humility and self effacing while Sri. Ramakrishna was fully immersed in conducting the event successfully It is truly said, “Joy shared is joy doubled”!