Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Navarathri Golu! These Nine Days!

As usual I was sitting in front of my computer visiting random pages through Wikipedia. 

"Hari, it’s time! When are you going to invite your friends to our home?" asked my mom.
"Friends? For what?" 
"Hey Navarathri begins tomorrow da! Did you forget?" 
"Oh!! Nope... Okay will discuss and tell you!" 

(Oh my God! Again the hard work! I have to disappear!) 

When the word Navarathri strikes my mind, there are several which comes alongside with it.


The exquisite idols of various Gods, divine people, sages, leaders, animals, birds, and plants certainly attract kids for this is a festival for them. Usually they are wrapped in papers and are put in a box. These boxes remain in the attic for the remaining 356 days of the year. The day before the beginning of Navarathri, we put down these boxes and we remove those papers and get excited to see the ravishing dolls thinking about their history.

“Ithu unaku 2 vayasu irukum bothu vanginathu!” ( This was bought when you were 2 years old!)
“Itha na 50 rupees ku mailapore la vanginen!” (I bought this for 50 rupees at Mailapore!) 

Simultaneously the stand for the golu will be arranged by someone else in the home. A dhoti will be put on this stand and various decorations also will be done by the ladies. After all this, the idols will be placed on the stand after a lengthy discussion about their position in the stand. We clean the home, decorate it and fill it with devotion. 

Image: Harikrishna Raghuraman


We usually have fast foods as our snacks in the evening which are hazardous to our health. These nine days not only give us spiritual knowledge but also various other knowledge. One of them is about health. Yes! These nine days give us nutritious snack "The sundal" which is the boiled version of the dhals or maizes. They are full of proteins and vitamins. I have seen several road side kids rushing to homes to get this sundal and other preparations and devour them. This also makes these nine days a great blessing for these hapless kids who don't get good food throughout the year. We people knowingly or unknowingly involve in the pristine and a blessed habit of donation.

Image Courtesy: Harikrishna Raghuraman 


We have become lazy creatures. This Navarathri makes us wake up early everyday and engage in our duties.

"Wake up, Hari!"
"Ma! It’s Sunday!" 
"Hey, it’s Navarathri! You should not be sleeping now! It's past six AM!" 

After this wake up ceremony, there will be devotional songs singing and devotional slokas chanting. And we must certainly engage in it. Hence I too participate in it singing the songs loudly (inviting dogs and donkeys inside). There will be poojas and prayers in my home throughout the year yet this Navarathri stands apart from all making it a grand occasion. Everywhere I turn inside my home, there will be Gods looking at me and sacred chants ringing inside my ears. There will be fragrance from the flowers decorating the Gods and the incense sticks.


There will be people visiting home during these days. And it’s a tradition to honor these people by giving them coconut, betel leaf, fruits, kungumam, turmeric and a valuable gift. That gift varies. A blouse bit for elderly ones and also for the most respected ladies, for the relatives and close friends. A household item (Plastic or Stainless steel) for young ladies. Cosmetic items for girls clip, sticker, ear-rings, bangles, chain etc. Then stationary items for kids pencil, pen, box, eraser, scale etc. 

Image Courtesy: Harikrishna Raghuraman

I hear some of you questioning me. "What for boys?" 
"Arey this is not a boys festival!"

If you are looking for the type of gifts to boys, please look under the section "Sundal"!! We, boys, prefer eatables to these earthly goods!


And if you are a girl, you are doomed during these days! The first question they ask you when you go to golu is, "Do you know to sing?" If you reply in positive, you must sing. If you reply in negative, then also you must sing. There is no way to escape.

"Ponnunga yarachum paatu padu ma!" (Any of you girls, please sing a song!)
(Everybody blinks. Then an elderly lady will point one of the girls there.) 
"Enaku paada varathu!" (I can't sing) 
"Paatu kathundrukiyo?" (Are you learning to sing?) 
"Illa mami" (No aunt) 
"Paravala, chumma oru naalu vari padu ma!" (No problem, sing at least four lines) 

Boys are safe!

And not to forget, the traditional way of dressing! Skipping jeans, kurdhi and t shirts, girls love to wear pavada dhavani or sarees and they show that they too have not forgotten the tradition! Boys?

"Arey this is not a boys festival!"

Apart from all these, there are things like travel, chatting, relationships etc which can be experienced from these days. The first three days are for Goddess Durga, the next three for Goddess Lakshmi and the last three for Goddess Saraswathi! It started with a loud bang this year nine days back. It is ending today with a smile. Now it's time for wrapping all those back and putting them in attic. I am feeling a bit bad about putting them back up. Somehow I have felt so close to "these days" every time and I find it difficult to leave them. This happens every year. Bidding them goodbye is not an easy thing. But there is no other way! My mom will beat me if I ask her to leave this throughout the year with no help from me! So let us all bid "these days" a very good bye and hope it comes back next year bringing more happiness and prosperity!


  1. Beautifully written. You have very nicely explained the culture and tradition and the various activities associated with Navarathri with a sweet personal touch to it. It brought me lovely memories of my childhood as I used to be fascinated with the golu and always eager to gulp down sundal whenever I got a chance. Lovely post. :)

    1. Thank you very much :) Yeah, we have been influenced a lot by the western culture for the past few decades. But when it comes to our festival season, we feel so proud to indulge in our traditional aspects and celebrate them. This unifies us a lot. I am so happy and proud to see a great blogger's comment here :)

  2. hmhm.. your posts have a down to earth quality (which I adore). And you have a great blog. Following you. :)

    1. haha :) I am a new blogger... Started blogging six months back.. I have always been inspired by you people to write quality contents but I always end up writing these types.. Next time will surely write even other types :) Thanks for your comment!!!

  3. Glad to have inspired. But hey, like I would like to reiterate - down to earth is something fresh. I like it. :)

    1. :) Thanks again... So even I am managing to get some very good readers for my blog.. Very much happy :)

  4. You are influential too :) Another quality one from you!!

    1. Thank you for this lovely comment :) Hope to see you often here :)


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