Let’s start from venpongal. During the month of Marghazhi[15th Dec - 14th Jan], when you rush to a mahakali amman koil in the wee hours of morning, you get two things. Apart from sighting aathi pinnal girls, you get handful of suda suda ven pongal and spirituality to the heart’s content. amman Koil pongal is much better than Ghee Pongal[Rs.13.95] in annapoorna. But those days when I went to the mahakaliamman koil along with my uncle at 5:30 in the morning, I knew nothing about annapoorna or Naachiyaar Thirumozhi. All I knew was that my chiti, quietly made a big kolam and went to koil in the early morning of marghazhi month. When she came back, I was still iam not brushing my teeth, thinking about the boring social studies homework given, the previous day. She came back with a dhonnai full of steaming hot ven pongal. So before brushing my teeth, I got to eat the pongal even before my coffee. There was something special about the pongal and hence decided to hitchhike my chiti during her kaarthala koil trips.
I landed in the koil, after bath, sharp by 5:40 am. Along the way to the temple, women keptdrawing, what is called as Theruvadaichaan, a maavu kolam that spread the breath of their respective lanes. In the koil, they recited a sloka and chiti would recite alongwith them. With atleast 50 people, reciting the same sloka(I thought) at the same time, I had goose bumps for no reason. After sevichu’fying the amman a queue(?!) gets formed for the highlight. As you proceed along the queue, one maama stuffs a dhonnai in the hand. The other priest, has a huge karandi in his hand. He scoops a mountain of the ven pongal from the andaa and filled the donnai. I always get this itching feeling that the priest gave me less pongal than whoever stood before me. Anyway, the minute I get my donnai filled with ven pongal, I would go to the main pragaaram of the temple and eat pongal to my heart’s content. My chiti gets her share also to me. Now that I’m done with both the donnais of pongal, I head back home and sleep again by 6:15 am.
Till this day, Marghazhi reminds me of Ven Pongal even before Thiruppavai. Thiruppavai ?