OUR PONGAL FESTIVAL AT THANJAVUR! This late post is at the instance of my brother’s daughter Mrs. Latha Raja.
Thanjavur, granary of the South, is our home town for the last six decades and more!
We have a lovely house in the North Main Street – now only a portion of a GREAT HOUSE where in the pre- Independence days leaders like Anne Besant, Tilak, VOC and others have visited! Yes our grandfather, one great High Court Vakil of those days whose proficiency and efficiency would earn him Rs. 1000 per hour in the court- but then when important cases were there, he will ignore and be attending an All-India Congress Session in Ahamedabad and such other places. Naturally he landed as an ordinary middle-class person. BUT WE NEVER REGRETTED!
Thank God for having bestowed us with memory power! My parents continued to live in that house with my younger brother a teacher with MA, MSc. Med and worked in a nearby great school Sir Sivaswa my Ayyar Higher Secondary School in Thirukkaattuppalli.
We two other brothers- employed in State Bank of India and LIC of India in enviable employment, used to visit Thanjavur for all PONGAL DAYS with our families in our cars wherever we were working.
We shall reach Thanjavur previous day of BHOGI, return after Pongal days were over. By tradition we will have PONGAL only on the MAATTU PONGAL Day and on all Pongal days we used to visit Nagapattinam which is our ancestral place. N in our names stands for NAGAPATTINAM.
We the members of our all the three families around a dozen members will leave for Nagapattinam in a happy and gay mood in two cars or a van. After visiting temples and friends at Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur etc. we used to return home by the night of Pongal day.
Getting up early morning next day, readying for the holy PONGAL FESTIVITIES, while elders preparing Pongal and other delicious items in the menu, children keeping drum like, will be making sounds as the milk boils and spills shouting “ PONGALO PONGAL” .
After pujas were over almost by the noon, we will have lunch, spend time going to Sivaganga Garden, Brahadeeswar temple etc. We used to get back to our respective places next day.