Pongal from childhood has been an enjoyable festival, coming after the Christmas and New Year Holidays, this break of 3 days was a great time to spend at home with family and friends. Since it has been a purely urban upbringing with no rural origins the rural connect was never there and the festivities was centred at home and probably some visits to relatives.
Today Pongal as a festival is all about gratitude far removed from the fun and frolic the TV would lead you to believe. Gratitude to the Almighty for the graces we have been blessed with no matter what faith you may follow, there is never enough time to say thanks. Thanks to the farmers who toil for days with so many challenges both natural and manmade to put food on the table of everyone. Thanks to family and friends who make life worth living every day.
Ancient traditions have structured the festival to thank all three and it is fair that everyone take this moment to thank God, the farmer and family for all that has happened in the year that has passed and for those that we look forward to in the days ahead.
Today after a disastrous monsoon, Tamilnadu which is predominantly a rain fed state solely dependent on the North East monsoon for its water needs is staring at a crisis both for food and water. As we wish each other for the festival season we can offer a fervent prayer for unseasonal and immediate rains we can also pledge to conserve and diligently use the precious resource of water to make this festival more meaningful.
Wish you all a very happy Pongal!