Gudi Padwa / by Bindaas

Gudi Padwa March 23rd - the Maharashtrian New Year.

  Today according to the Hindu calendar is the day that the universe was born. And the energy that pervades transcending notions of human time is maximum on this day every year. In order to feel, commemorate and capture this awesome power, in the morning we tie together an inverted water canter or bowl, one bamboo, one green cloth, a bunch of neem leaves, a garland of flowers and a garland of sugar, and erect a gudi - a flag to the universe on the right hand side of the front door of one's house.

  It is said that if this gudi is erected just before sunrise, and brought down just as it rises, only then the awesome power of new creations and new beginnings are tapped by the gudi and then directed to your house, your home, you abode. As much as it is science, it is also faith that proves this theory correct.  

But alas, in the modern age, those rituals have morphed. The woman below this house has put a blue cloth which is the wrong color and she was not even Maharashtrian, I even heard her screaming to her kids that they will look up the meaning of this festival on the internet. 

On this day you eat and offer to the gudi a mixture of sweet jaggery and bitter neem leaves as a symbolic form of reconising the bitter sweetness of life and its challenges.   

Gudi Padwa lunch cooked by Chandrayee and the Kalandar with Dada, Didi, Mr Khalikar, Mr Adval and Pappa.

For me, rituals once understood and respected for their original meaning, can represent whatever variable, an evolved ideology in the present time. Like taking a day for pause, cooking good food and spend quality time with loved ones in a manner of contemplation of days past and days to come in a bitter sweet sense was reason enough to celebrate the new year.

This is the first new year celebration in a space that I hope will become a safe haven and sanctuary for the creative mind. 

*Note In the images the gudi is tied not to the technical front door, but definitely an entry and 
escape route for a pigeon.* 

Gudi Padwa asks you to "Empty your ego as you turn over the bowl....

to take an inverted look within, 

hold yourself up to the vast sky of divinity...and pray...

 may your soul remain outdoors, away from the trappings of this world." - Hindu Blog

Sugar Garland