Pongal Holiday Fun


We aren’t a hugely festive family, which is slightly disappointing for the snubnose. She always wants bigger, better celebrations, but honestly an ideal holiday for me is just lounging around the house – a little (only a little, mind you) cooking, reading books, and general chilling out.

This year we attempted something different for Pongal. For those who aren’t aware Pongal is a widely celebrated harvest festival in Tamil Nadu (where I am from). It is celebrated over four days. However, at work, I only get a single day off and our celebration (generally) is reduced to making a dish of pongal (a very simple boiled dish made of rice and lentils), eating heartily, and then sleeping it off 🙁 . I warned you, we aren’t festive at all.

This year, we decided to do a bit extra. On the Sunday preceding Pongal, we went off to do some kite flying with our neighbors. I never imagined that it would be so much fun. Snubnose had a ball trying (and not quite succeeding) getting her kite up in the sky.

Piglet went ballistic. After a few moments of awestruck silence, he went into peals of laughter seeing some boys struggling to get their huge and cumbersome, but very beautiful kite to fly.

Here’s a shot of a wide-eyed and open-mouthed Piglet. He was really nonplussed by all the kites for the first 10-15 minutes or so.

Wide-eyed and open-mouthed

Wide-eyed and open-mouthed

I felt a little sorry for those boys. They looked horribly embarrassed that their efforts were met with so much hilarity.

After the kite flying, there was a huge bonfire, and we all stood around getting warm. By this time Piglet started getting restless and so K arrived to fetch him home and feed him his dinner. Snubnose and I lingered for a little more time watching the bonfire and doing some rangoli.

Good times! Unfortunately, we were having so much fun that I forgot to take any photos.

Pongal day itself (today) was a slow one. K had work while I was off, so no major celebrations.

The littles and I woke up past nine and lounged around the house. Snubnose again started to get restless with complaints of being bored. I really should spend more 1-1 time with snubnose. What with school, homework, play time, and extra classes, the weeks seem to whizz by. With a cute but demanding Piglet at home it is not always easy to give her the full attention she needs.

Anyway, this time I was prepared for her Mama, I am bored anthem.

I suggested we do an art project together to surprise her dad when he gets back from work. I had found this simple little template to create an elephant during a late-night Pinterest browsing session and saw that it was easy enough for even clumsy ole me to replicate. I saved it up for a rainy day and there you go, a couple of hours just whizzed by for the snubnose.

Easy-peasy elephant mobile

Of course, snubnose wasn’t going to go with simple and elegant like the above picture. She went all out with her new oil pastel set and made a multi-color patchwork elephant.

Here’s a shot of her hard at work.

I love Snubnose's enthusiasm for anything DIY

I love Snubnose’s enthusiasm for anything DIY

And the finished product waiting for K to spot it on his desk in the evening.

The most colorful elephant ever

The most colorful elephant ever

Oh, and that wasn’t the end of our day.

We made an expedition to hunt out some new curtains for the house. We found some good (not great) stuff and I am not super-enthused about the design decisions we made but for now I am okay. Some curtains are better than no curtains.

And considering we took Piglet and Snubnose with us, it’s amazing that any decision was made at all.

I find that as I grow older, it is less important for things to be perfect. The yen for perfection (at least in my case) was that it paralyzed me from taking decisions.

At the end of the day, it’s only curtains. They look decent, and if they don’t, well I can always change them up again. Plus, we really needed to book something today to take advantage of the festival sales.

So, that was our day people. It’s almost 9pm now, and time to round-up the littles (who are still downstairs riding the wave of that second wind of energy they seem to get as soon as bedtime approaches) and try to get them into bed.

All in all, a long and satisfying Pongal 🙂

  • veens

    Her elephant has the Elmer look (a book i have been wanting to get for Aarya) Piglet is looking so cute here 🙂 I am glad you went a little out of the way for Pongal 🙂 we have been having a weird week of poop, vomit and gas… so like always we are spaced out on holidays lol! My amazing kite flying plans went out of the dang window as usual 😀

    • Nishita

      @veens:disqus Hope Aarya is doing better now? Yeah, when I make the effort I usually enjoy festivals, it’s just making the effort that’s so hard. I am super lazy 🙂

      • veens

        hahaha… me too!

  • I had the best pongal for breakfast while I was holidaying in Tamil Nadu. I really miss it now that I’m home! The sky in my neighbourhood was filled with these newfangled kites that are like mini-parachutes – upside-down paper bag-like structures powered by flames at the bottom. It may not sound like the safest thing in the world, but the night sky looked beautiful filled with floating lights.

    • Nishita

      @parinitashetty:disqus We didn’t have any of those around here, but it sounds very beautiful. I think those are the imported from China ones.

      And pongal is one of my favorite dishes – one of the few that is quick n simple to make and tasty to eat 🙂

  • The Bride

    One of the bestest things about little kids is how they are amazed and awestruck by things we have learnt not to be amazed about.

    ”I find that as I grow older, it is less important for things to be perfect” Me too. But I feel like having kids is what nudges one in this direction. One just doesn’t have the mindspace to obsess.

    • Nishita

      @The Bride: Oh, yes. I am sure kids play a huge part as well in learning to let go of stuff 🙂

  • Avada K @ashscerebrations.com

    Kite flying is so much fun! Snubnose has made a very beautiful elephant. And piglet’s reaction is so cute in that pic.
    Happy Pongal Nish 🙂

    • Nishita

      @Avada K: Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed kite flying before. I never got the hang of it, and mostly I did it with my younger brother and we got bored within minutes.

      This time, the whole neighborhood gathered together. It was so much fun. Doing it in a group is what makes kite flying fun (at least for me).

      Thanks for the wishes, Ava. Do you celebrate?

      • Avada Kedavra

        yeah I used to fly kites when I was young. I am sure now I will have no patience for that.
        We celebrate Sankranthi too. But in US, all the festivals seem mostly meaningless since there is no holiday and family. Only when I am in India, it is fun.

        • Nishita

          @Avada Kedavra: I remember when I stayed there, we never did anything special. Somehow that habit has carried forward here too. I need to break it now as I see snubnose likes to celebrate 🙂

  • Karen

    Sounds like quite a lot of fun even if there was no downtime reading ..

    • Nishita

      @disqus_gmoXW9BOB2:disqus I barely managed 2-3 pages of We Need New Names, but still it was a great day all the same 🙂

  • That actually sounds like a wonderful holiday. And as you know, I’m so so impressed with the Snubnose’s artistic skills. She constantly impresses me. And Piglet! So cute watching the kites!

    • Nishita

      @thepickygirl:disqus Thanks, Jenn. It was a wonderful day. Snubnose is getting better these days, but she is becoming very impatient of my beginner-level art skills 🙁

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