SRIkanth, SRInath, LAlitha & RAghu:
Greetings and best wishes to you on this auspicious day of Dasara; which symbolizes the triumph of good and truth over evil. It is a festival celebrated all over India with much enthusiasm and fanfare, with Calcutta and Mysore topping the list. People visit friends and relatives, exchange greetings and seek the blessings of elders. Yesterday it has rained at Hyderabad, almost the whole day. Hope the weather would be good today; especially in the evening when we have to go to the Temple and later visit my sister’s family for exchanging Dasara greetings and seek their blessings.
It is little early in the morning and we are already getting busy; exchanging Dasara greetings with friends and relatives. Some time before lunch we will be carrying out Vahana Pooja. And for the ‘Festival Lunch’ we would be having special Non-veg. dishes. Dasara, Sankranti, Holi, Mahankali Jatara are festivals for which we can have Non-veg. food but for Deepavali, Ugadhi, Vinayaka Chavithi, Rakhi Punnami and many other festivals and occasions it is strictly sweets and vegetarian food. In the evening we put on new clothes and at about 5:00 P.M. we will be visiting the Anjaneyaswamy Temple close to our house. The main shrine here is of Anjaneyaswamy but there are other shrines in this Temple, of Vinayaka, Shiva, Venkateshwaraswamy, Santosha Laxmi and Navagrahalu. After we return home from the temple; we place the Jammi tree leaves in front of the pictures and idols of Gods in our Pooja room and worship. These leaves are called Bangaram (Gold). We place Bangaram in the hands of elders and prostrate before them and seek their blessings. If it is friends or relatives of the same age group we place a few Jammi leaves in their hands, exchange greetings and hug them. A few friends and relatives normally visit us in the evening to exchange Dasara greetings. Later; after dinner we visit my sister’s family and seek blessings from my brother-in-law and sister.
As one cannot manage to meet all near and dear ones in few hours of today evening; these meetings continue tomorrow, popularly called as ‘Mulaqat day’ – meeting day. Worship, celebration, new clothes and most importantly the renewing and deepening of friendships and relationships makes this festival a unique one.