Friday, August 16, 2013

Nagpanchami in Thal

Mixed boiled beans a Nagpanchami special in Thal which after naivedya are made into a usal.

Last Sunday was Nagpanchami, I had almost forgotten it as I was on my way to Thal. In the village where ever I went I was welcomed with Undre/ Modak and mixed boiled beans.

On the fifth day of Shravan the snakes are worshipped in Hinduism. The snakes control rats from proliferating and destroying crops hence they are paid respect. It is a practice to do a small puja and offer milk and other offering to a snake. Villagers pray to the snake that we will offer you once in a while some offerings but don't show yourself to us. 

Unlike the cities where snakes are brought packed in baskets from the villages by snake charmers in an attempt to earn a buck by letting people offer milk to it. In the village the offering to a snake are left near the holes where a snake is known to reside  or it is left simply somewhere in the yard around the homes for the snake to feast at its convenience and freedom. City dwellers like us should discourage the snake charmers by not giving them money and telling them not to catch snakes and not to bring them to the city, where they get killed due to bad handling and being pulled out from their natural habitat.

On Sunday someone spotted a snake in the rocks on the seashore and spread the word. Everyone was warned to be careful. Also the poor snake survived because it was Nagpanchami else it would have been killed.

In the evening I was served food by my gracious cousins. This was a Shravani meal and so was served on a Dinda leaf and not the usual banana leaf or patravaLi. I am not sure what Dinda is called in English neither do I know the botanical name. However to describe it, a thick, large, dicot leaf it is. 

After the meal I went for a long walk along the seashore sans my iPad so no pictures of the beach but I realised that it was a good idea to leave it behind for it turned out to be a surreal experience. When you are on the seashore at dusk after sun down all you see is the Arabian Sea on one side and the palms, screw pine and conifers on the other side. You see the ferocious waves lapping and the sounds cut your thoughts and you want to sing along to the tunes of nature. The clouds were dark and I could see the rain approaching from sea as the Khanderi and Undheri forts became hazy. It was a light drizzle that livened my spirit, I increased the speed of my footsteps homewards and sang to the music of the rain, the waves, Garjata Barsat Sawan Ayo Re ~ ~ ~

Some scenes from Thal that are so Shravan Maasi.

A pile of wood collected during summer to be used in the monsoons.
Overgrowths surround homes, women relax and it's an unhurried pace of life as the fishing is closed in this season.
The chool gets moved from the seafacing backyard to the OTi, it is just impossible to light a fire in the backyard with gushing winds.
Nirmal Tai posing with my newest nephew.
Ghana Barse~ ~ Shravani clouds laden and low.
New boat waiting to meet the sea after Narali Pournima.


  1. loved this post Anjali, you took me for a stroll along the sea, which I so love :)

  2. beautiful post Anjali. love the way you described such a life where people stop to enjoy the beauty of everything. really loved it and missing my desher bari (ancestral home) so much.

    1. Yes Sayantani, they stop to take rest and enjoy the season while the sea is really wild. Also note how they fast and eat less when they work less. Just how the way of life should be!

      Make it to your desher Bari when you can. Things change so fast. I have never shared pics of my own home in the village once upon a time it used to buzz with so much activity, today we wonder why we built it so big!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the beautiful photos -- I agree -- sometimes it's best to leave technology behind and let one's memory do the picture-taking :)


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