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My Mother's Celebration of Varalakshmi Nombu

on 2012/11/26 21:28:46 ( 2568 reads )


INDIA, November 25, 2012 ( It was a silent evening at home while I watched my mother prepare for Varalakshmi Nombu (download a description of the festival, ... nnel/index.php?wfc_cid=42). The prized wooden temple came out of its bag and I proceeded with the yearly ritual of assembling the parts together. My fascination for temples made me look at this small mandapam in wood wondering whether I would be able to carve something similar.

An ancient bag, almost belonging to the previous century came back home from the bank with all silver items in it. Part of the booty was a silver pot, kuthi vallaku (lamps) and of course Amman herself wrapped in a red cloth which was her dress for the puja. Amman, wore necklaces made of semi precious stones, an elaborate nose ring, beautiful earrings that gave life to her bright eyes.

The following morning, Amma was draped in her madi saree (9 yard saree) reciting mantra and meticulously doing the puja. I watched Amma in her madi saree, a fairly complex outfit with innumerably tucks and twists to finally give the most gorgeous outlook to a brahmin woman - the virtues of Amman herself.

Amma was complete, with metti (toe rings) in her toes and golusu (anklets) to go with it in silver. They say these jewelry keep away all evil spirits and black magic, while she is free to tread on any ground, her purity being her only guard.

I feel so small when I look at Amma perform, still wishing every time I would get a chance to do the same puja with just as much devotion as she does it with.

Truly a divine form, with her feet richly colored with turmeric, subtly enhanced by the silver metti and anklets contrasting with the red madi saree with a thick gold border, she simply looks great! I sat back in my "paavaadai" wishing some day I would enter the divine category of brahmin women, a form of Amman relived.

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