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Mango, neem and hope blooms amidst Covid gloom

Ugadi, the Telugu New Year is all about Ugadi Pachadi, cheruku gadalu, marigolds, mango leaves, new clothes and jewellery and of course a feast.

Published: 25th March 2020 05:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2020 07:17 AM   |  A+A-

Last-minute Ugadi shopping for flowers, fruits and other pooja essentials as seen at Ameerpet on Tuesday | S Senbagapandiyan

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Perhaps the depressing one-liners such as ‘Intlo Vuntey Ugadi, Bayatikeltey Samadhi’ or ‘Rest in House or Rest in Peace’ doing the rounds in family WhatsApp groups are indicators of not just a gloomy Ugadi, but a gloomy Sri Ramanavami as well. “Going by the way the things are going, I am betting on celebrations for Ganesh Chavithi on August 22,” says Himabindu Nekkanti, an IT employee who is getting crushed under the double trouble of home and office work this week.

Ugadi, the Telugu New Year is all about Ugadi Pachadi, cheruku gadalu, marigolds, mango leaves, new clothes and jewellery and of course a feast. But considering most shoppers aren’t even able to procure sugarcane cubes or new jaggery, the festival seems to have lost its charm. “My  street used to be buzzing with festival shopping and pooja kits. Now, even my regular fruit vendor is missing and when I spotted him, he had a bag full of fruits covered with a cloth. He wasn’t sure he would be able to display his ware with the curfew-like situation on and limited shopping,” Tapasvi and Abhishek, a newly-wed couple say.

However, there are always those who love to see the silver lining. “I did not have to spend a penny on clothes for the family. My typical shopping basket for Ugadi (Gudi Padwa) is nothing less than 15 to 18K and I get to save all of it,” says Bhagyashree Joglekar who lives in Vertex Prime at Nizampet and hails from Kolhapur. She had wanted her inlaws who stay in Maharashtra to join her for the summer holidays and the festival, but her plans fell through due to Telangana lockdown.

Considering even a fist-sized raw mango used for Ugadi pachadi now costs `30, and with cooks, maids, drivers on leave, most people in the city want to keep it simple and use the day to sleep well and get ready for the upcoming week. Holidays have got cancelled. Household work has increased. Prices have shot up. But then, the hope that ‘All will be well’ is making Hyderabadis look forward to the new month. Niharika Reddy, a model in the city who has recently walked the ramp for LFW says that the tattoo on her wrist ‘This Too Shall Pass’ is what makes her look forward to the year. “For now, let’s focus on spending time with our loved ones at home,” she says.

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