How are we going to celebrate varusha porappu? My daughter wanted to know.
What do you mean, haven’t we just finished celebrating Ugadi and the English New Year before that ? I said, quite surprised that Sangeetha was thinking of another celebration which meant my toiling in the kitchen and preparing all those bakshanams all over again.
Yes, we did, but don’t you think we should be a Roman in Rome, as the saying goes, and follow the cultural practices of the state we live in? argued my daughter.
No, mummy, then there is no fun, unless we go the whole hog, no half measures, you see.
Though I didn’t have a clue at what was coming next, I feared the young lady had some big plans which might upset the budget I had made for the month.
Okay. Tell me, shall I make your favourite sweet and savoury? I suggested.
She nodded and said there is something more important, mummy. Don’t you think I should get a new dress as well?
My guess was right and I knew what she meant by asking for a new dress. She was one who wouldn’t settle for anything less than a couple of thousands as she had expensive tastes.
So, there was another round of shopping to be done, which meant spending hours and hours in getting what she exactly had in mind. It didn’t stop with that, as the matching accessories had to be obtained which again involved spending a greater part of the day going around shopping in the hot sun.
When I told Sangeetha to cut out on the accessories bit , she came out with an alternative saying, mummy, let’s go to one of the lifestyle stores where we can look around in air-conditioned comfort.
As Sangeetha’s suggestion was not too bad, I readily agreed and found her father also giving in, more for the convenience of using plastic money, I thought.
We came back after hours of shopping, stacked with huge packets, which included, besides a designer salwar kameez set for Sangeetha with the accessories as well, a saree for me and a trendy shirt for my husband, (My daughter felt we too should wear new clothes on varusha porappu) altogether relieving us of a few thousands.
The day started with greeting everyone in the neighbourhood .I chose to greet them in chaste tamil and I did so on the phone ,wishing half a dozen of my friends in their mother tongue.
The response from everyone of them came as a disappointment —-they all reciprocated my wishes no doubt, but none did so in their own language as I expected!
N Meera Raghavendra Rao