Category Archives: festivity

Chaitra Gauri Haldi kunku

Chaitra embarks beginning of new year for Maharashtrians.  “Gudi Padwa/Ugadi/Baisakhi” are celebrated in this month.

Nature renews itself in this month. We will see new leafs sprouting in this month, some trees are already covered with light green color leafs. This is also the season of mangoes, oranges, grapes, water and musk melon.

In Maharashtrian  Brahmins they have a tradition of celebrating “chaitra-gauri haldi kunku”. Traditionally, married women would invite all the other married women in the neighborhood for celebrating chaitra together. In this celebration, they would pamper their friends with Jasmine(Mogra) gajras, they would make “Kairi panhe(raw mango mixed with jaggery to make a cold drink) and serve with “dal-kairi”. Dal-kairi is made of raw mangoes with harbara dal.  This to me seems like an networking technique.  Serve what is available in that season and locally.

I love to celebrate anything and everything that takes me back to roots. And for last two years I have been celebrating this.  This also gives me an opportunity  to revamp my connections in today’s so called busy life.

There is a ritual associated with this, wherein Lordess Annapurna and the Kuldevi is work shipped.  They would decorate the swing with Jasmine and make the Lordess sit in it.

Different people use different themes every year. And I am one of them.  I too made use of lot of flowers and raw mangoes for my celebrations.  Chat is all time favorite and good to have in Summers which is why I thought of having it in my menu.

Everybody is very talented, hence these are the events where I promote my amazingly talented friends.  My youngest friend @veda playing Violin.

My beautiful friend @kalpana performing some part of Geet-Ramayan.

The dress code was “anything in green”

I thought of adding my Chaitra Gauri-2019 here itself. This years theme was “Gajj-gamini” and the dress code was “anything in yellow”

Gajj-gamini meaning Lordess sitting on Elephant.

 

It was so good to see all my friends dressed up “yellow”

With so much heat outside, I decided to have “barf-gola” in my menu.

Here is the link to the  invite that I used for this program. I hope you enjoyed reading.. Any feedback is appreciated.

 

 

Invitation for “Chaitra Gauri Haldi Kunku”

Whenever we think of celebrating something with our near and dear ones, we spend lot of time on arrangements. We rarely emphasize on the invite that we send. I personally believe that invitation is an first impression of the event you plan to organize and equal attention should be paid to the same. It should not be a template. I insist you take help from people who are good at words.

Make it more personal and as clear as possible. Lot of people appreciate me for the creative invites I use. Here is me sharing the best of the invitations i have wrote for “Chaitra Gauri” haldi kunku.

Here is the one in Marathi which I used in 2018:

 

 

I generally send reminders after sending invitations.. that helps.

Here is the one for Chaitra Gauri 2019.

Please feel free to copy/use the content and give credit whenever possible.

An interview with “Sharvari Kalantre” of “yogsakhi” group-Dombivali-Mangala Gauriche khel

As I am getting to know more groups performing “Mangala gauriche  khel”,  my excitement level is increasing and I am feeling extremely proud of the fact that we all are really fortunate to still witness such power houses.

People who value our tradition and are trying their level best to retain the same.  I am quite sure that it must be challenging and all the more challenging if they have to retain it in an Metro city like Mumbai. In my search of groups, I happened to meet(virtually) “Sharvari Kalantre” who is part of a socially active group called as “Yog sakhi”. It is a group of 80-100 members who come together to have fun and do more of social activities.  As part of one of their social activities they perform “Managala Gauriche Khel“. Yog-sakhi was started by Rohini Pendharkar and Saroj Kalantre.

“Yog Sakhi” is their brain child. It is out of their efforts, energy and idea Yogsakhi came up with a group for “Mangala gaur”.

So how come an convent educated Mumbai ki ladki landed up in a group inclined to older customs and traditions?

“I completed  my primary education from “St Sebastian High School” located in Chembur and graduation in “Home Science” from Nirmala Niketan.  I am a Dietician by profession. I wanted to give my kids complete attention in their pre-formative years and hence i took a sabatical. During that phase, my Kaku-in-law (Mrs. Saroj Kalantre ) introduced me to “YogSakhi”. That is when i hit the floor”.

On asking about practices, she told me that they practice from 2-4 PM as that is the empty slot for all of them. Also, most of ladies in their group are entrepreneurs hence they can  manage. They start practicing a month before Shravan.

They are very particular about what they are wearing as they definitely want to put their best foot forward. “We wear  stuff that will go with the theme and is relevant”.

They perform at Dohale Jevan, barsa, and Women’s day events . For every performance the scripts are written by Saroj Kalantre . They modify it based on where it has to be performed.

Do you like performing in competitions, any good or bad experience?

“Sharvari says, Yogsakhi has performed in various competitions and have won many of them. The most remembered one was organised by Zee. We are fortunate that we always had good coverage and experiences”

I really admire the spirit of the ladies from “Yog-sakhi”, as doing all these activities with daily chores is an effort.  I respect them as they are helping the needy out of this income.

“We all do these programs purely for retaining our cultural values and part of the amount that we earn by performing these games goes for helping out the needy. We donate the money to pay school fees, or distribute books among st the needy kids. Our profit is “FUN” and “satisfaction “that we get after performing at various functions” says Sharvari.

Festivals and more respects and wishes all the good luck to Sharvari’s Yog-sakhi.

Here is the small video of their performance.

 

 

An interview with Sucheta Adkar of Indrani group-Mangala Gauriche Khel

Mangala Gauriche khel are played as part of a Maharashtrian Brahmin tradition for the newlyweds. These games are becoming very popular due to availability of various groups in various cities of the state.


 These groups are available at various cost based on the credibility and content of the program. I met many groups and they have wiped out all my biases. Out of the many such groups, one of the recent ones is “Indrani”. The composition of the group is interesting as it consists of women from various age groups, some are home-makers and some working women lead by “Sucheta Adkar”.

Sucheta is an engineer by degree and an Entrepreneur by profession. She runs a media and events company with her spouse. Extremely stylish and honest, she is a  graduate in kathak dance too.

How come an Engineer became such an active member of “Indrani” or rather how did she join Indrani was my question to her after the introduction session?
“As a Child, I was born and brought up in Chinchwad. We use to have lot of festivals celebrated in the morya mandir. Lot of Mangala gauri khel use to be played and lot of Jagrans also used to happen unlike the programs that happen today. I use to go to these Jagrans and enjoyed the food served. In that process I learnt few. After my marriage, I joint few classes and learnt them to gain more experience” says Sucheta.

They are 12 members group only, and have been running the same for 7-8 years now. Not everybody in the group is a home maker, In fact it is my pleasure to introduce you to her group members briefly. I am extremely proud of the fact, that the members in the group have their own responsibilities at home, and work front yet they dedicated so much of their time to retain our culture.

Indrani has performed around 450 programs in various cities of Maharashtra and they have performed in Goa too. They have performed in non-Maharashtrian functions as well.

How about the presentation part for the group?

“At Indrani, we all are well to do, and being part of this group is passion for us. We put all our efforts in making our presentation glamourous retaining the authencity of the games. Everybody is enthusiast and has multiple costumes with Jewellery” adds Sucheta.

About the program design and content, they modified it based on the function in which they perform.
Infact she told me that they could combine “Yoga” with the mangala Gauriche khel for one of their celebrations on the “International Yoga day’. The concept was very well appreciated

As few of the members are dancers, they also had performed in a program showcasing various dance forms of Maharashtra called “Gandha Maticha” .

“We are very happy, and fortunate to be doing this for the community as it is taking something from the older generations and passing it to the newer one” says Sucheta

Festivals and more wishes all the best to all these gorgeous ladies and May God bless them.
Incase you want to get intouch with Sucheta’s group please write to me at  sdimber@gmail.com.  Also, If you know of any group who has been performing “mangala Gauriche khel” and would like to appreciate them, then please ping me.

Snippet of Interview :

 

 

 

 

An Interview with “kanchan Mule” of Swanandi Group-Mangala Gauriche Khel

With an excellent response for my earlier blog on “mangala Gauriche khel“,  I was inspired to write more about those working in that area.

Couple of my next blogs will see exclusive interviews with those who have worked relentlessly and taken our culture to a level which they themselves never thought of.

Today, I got an opportunity to meet someone who inspired me in her own way. She is the one who started the group called “Swanandi” who performs mangala gauriche khel and has been managing the same for 25+ years.

Kanchan(Mausami) Mule is 64 years now, and when I saw her I  was amazed.

Kanchan Kaku as I call her fondly, is born and brought up in Pune. She completed her schooling from “Gopal high school” and graduation in B.A(Marathi) from Sir Purshottam College (SP college).

She inherited music from her father “Bal Mate” and was very active in sports since her childhood. “I just can’t sit at one place and need to do  something or other” says Kanchan Kaku while serving me the tea.

When I asked her “where did you learn Mangala Gauriche Khel from”? She smiled and said that she used to participate  in every Mangala Gaur program that used to happen in neighborhood and simply absorb by observing. There is no Guru as such or one person to whom she can give the credit to.

In today’s date Swanandi has already performed 661 programs at various occasions like Dohale Jevan, Mehendi, Barsa and other political gatherings including the Shravani Tuesdays and hopes to complete 700 shows in this season.

They have traveled all cities in Maharashtra and have also showcased their talent in Goa and Rajasthan. “If the host is willing to pay for our Travel and accommodation” we can travel anywhere.

Swanandi does not like time limits imposed on them while performing, as that is unfair to every person in the group. They have a pre-decided sequence and any change in time allotment disturbs their entire performance. However, performing for so many years have helped them learn the way to overcome any challenges they come across.

Having performed with Smita Talwalkar and Madhu Kambikarji, Kanchan Kaku feels herself as fortunate and blessed.

She has about 40 ladies of different age group, financial background, and profession performing with her. She has shared her skill with almost 2000+ ladies so far and is well connected with most of them.

Some of them join for fun, some with the thought to retain our culture and some for source of income is what she mentioned. They practice throughout the year and now each person in the group is a pro.

“We don’t perform for money, but we do need it to manage our costumes and other logistics though. Swanandi has got immense respect, love and success which is more important than the remuneration paid to us” says she.

She writes her own scripts for compering, designs the games per program requirement and sometimes on the spot, choreograph the sequence and make sure program is catchy. She does this while managing her own household and understanding every team members problems/aspirations.

While we were talking, I looked around and found her beautiful picture in Navari saree and was amazed as she had done modelling for “Swamini-shop”.

I asked her if I could get a softcopy. She did not have one as it was taken sometime back when digital world did not exist. I used my phone and created a soft copy. I could see her blushing when I told her that I will whatsapp her the image

It is so difficult to find out such dynamos who believe in growing and doing something for our culture. Who have the vision to take it to every door if they could and we at festivals and more salute such power houses…

Kanchan Kaku may “Swanandi” achieve all the heights it can!!!

 
Snippet of the Interview:

Also, it can be found at

Besan Ladoo

Swaraj watches chota bheem a lot and is hugely influenced by him. So much such that he   will get into the character of Bheem and make me  tun tun mausi 🙂

Whenever Bheem is having ladoo, this fellow will run behind me for making one.

The very first time he asked me I was shocked as  I never made ladoos except for rava ladoos.

My mother always said Besan ladoos are fastest to make, full of protein as they are made from Chana daal and liked by many.

So thought of giving it a try and guess what, I can make reasonable good Besan ladoos.

I can say confident ally as so many of my friends ate it and appreciated it. Ask to make for them as well.

Reciepe is very simple…

Ingredients:

Besan flour: 2 cups

Sugar(pithi sakhar): 1-1/2 cups

Almond and Cashew nuts,

cardamom powder: 1 tsp

nutmeg powder: 1 tsp

Ghee: 1 cup

Method 1:

  1. Heat a pan and add Besan flour  in it.
  2. Saute it till you get that nice roasted smell of chana daal.
  3. Add sugar and mix well till smell nice sweet flavor mixed in besan.
  4. Pour that 1 cup of ghee and keep stirring.Make sure that  the gas is on sim and you are not burning the mixture.
  5. Once mixed, switch off the gas and let the mixture cool. You might want to keep it in refrigerator to expedite the process.
  6. Remove the mixture and make round ladoos or whatever shape you think you can turn it to..
  7. they simply taste awesome.

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Method 2:

  1. Heat  the pan and add ghee (Gowardhan tastes better)to it.
  2. Once it is hot, add besan to it and keep sauteing till it turns golden brown.
  3. Add cardamon powder and  nutmeg powder,
  4. Simmer the gas and saute for 2 more minutes.
  5. Switch off the gas and get the entire mixture in a  plate.
  6. Let it cool.
  7. Add sugar to it and mix it nicely.
  8. Let it cool. Use your refrigerator for better results.
  9.  Roll it out  to make delicious ladoos…

 

Tilachi Vadi-Makar Sankrant-2016

Last year the ladoos I made were too hard and sticky, so had a challenge of making it right this year.After going through so many food blogs, and checking with everybody I finally started with my little knowledge  in cooking..

IMG_1031We need very few ingredients for making til(sesame) wadi.

Ingredients:

1 cup – Sesame/Til,

1 cup- Groundnut powder,

1 cup – jaggery,

2 tbsp-Ghee,

Cardamomom and nutmeg powder,

To begin, roast groundnut and sesame seeds separately. Let it cool.

IMG_1021IMG_1020Remove the ground nut cover and grind it coarsely. Repeat the same for Sesame seeds.IMG_1022

Make sure they are not roasted too much..as it will taste bitter.

Next  heat the pan pour Ghee in it and add jaggery. Allow the jaggery to melt and foam.

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When that happens, switch off the heat. Mix the sesame powder and ground powder.

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Add cardamom and nutmeg for flavor.Take a square plate with deep bottom, grease it with ghee and spread the mixture uniformly.

IMG_1025Use knife to make pieces while it is warm. Once it cools you will not be able too.

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Try it!!! and let me know your comments…

Diwali2015-Laxmi Pujan-11th-November

Laxmi Puja the only day when I had a holiday. Hence I could elaborately concentrate on almost everything and do whatever planned.

Be it Rangoli..IMG_0655IMG_0653Or the pending Faral items like Shankarpali

IMG_0633All the diyas were lit

IMG_0650Aakash kandil or lantern in its full glow

IMG_0648And of course “Laxmi puja” with complete devotion.

IMG_0642Lord Ganesha cannot be forgottenIMG_0640

Wishing everybody a very happy Diwali and may this Diwali light up good thoughts in you