Monday, 29 July 2013

Vat Savitri ..Part 2

Finally, I am posting Part 2 of the Vat Savitri Post that I had promised.
Better late than never..
For the second part of the Vat Savitri post, I wanted to elucidate the ritual followed in observing this fest.

Okay, we all know it's a fast observed by married women for the long lives of their husband.

As far as following rituals and traditions are concerned, I am a big copy cat of my mommy.
I want to do anything and everything that she does..
I am just so fascinated and awe struck by her persona that I can't help it.

One of the other reasons why I like documenting these traditions on So-Saree, is for my own selfish motive.
Come festivals or auspcious days/events, I call up my mommy and chk out with her, what I am supposed to do for that particular fest, and though she will very obediently and diligently tells me the rituals and procedure, she will always mention that I should start remembering this stuff, instead of calling her every now and then.
But no matter how hard I try, I can never remember the little things that go in each festival. And so I thought, if I write about it on So-Saree, at least I will have a reference point for the future.
Am I smart or what..!!

So, this is what is done for the Vat Savitri Puja.
Aai says women in North India do this fast for three days, just like Savitri did..
But in Maharashtra, it is done only for a day, on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha.
This Vrat is therefore also called as the Vat Poornima Vrat.(Poornima meaning Full moon)

Women wake up early in the morning, finish  their morning chores, and dress in their traditional fineries aka Saree. At least on this day, you will spot most women wearing their Mangal Sutra, Nath aka nose ring, Jodvi aka toe ring, Sindoor i.e. vermilon filled in their hair partition and bindis on their foreheads. This is just the dressing up part.
After that they finish their daily morning payers, seek blessings from elders and husband, by touching their feet. And then they visit the nearest Banyan tree or Vat Vriksh in their vicinity for the puja.
The Banyan Tree is the major requisite for this puja. Women offer Haldi Kum Kum to the Banyan tree, light a Diya, make an offering of 5/7 fruits on the leaf of a Banyan tree referred to as the Vaan, and pray for the long lives of their husband.
Now the Pujari or Priest, present there, will recite the story of Satyawan and Savitri in short. The women on fast then sew black beads in a white string and wear it as a necklace symbolizing the thread of Eternal Saubhagya.
Saubhagya literally means Good Fortune, but within the Indian context it means to die a married women. (Yes, ancient Indian women believed or more often were brainwashed to believe that being a widow was the biggest curse for any women, and hence they considered dieing a married women aka Saubhagyawati as the biggest blessing.)
 Then the Priest will tie one end of a white thread/string to the Banyan tree and the other end will be  given to the women who are there to perform the puja. Then the women are supposed to go around the Banyan tree and wrap it with the thread, while they complete their rounds/pradakshina. Once they complete 7 rounds, the major part of the puja is done. Some believe that by tieing 7 rounds of that thread around the Banyan tree, you reserve the right to retain your husband for your next seven lives. (Huh..can you believe that..?? A little too much..but you know it's INDIAN when there's loads of Drama..!)

After that, women offer the Vaan to other ladies and the puja is almost complete.

I say that the puja is almost complete, because the final and most important part of every Indian festival still needs to be completed. And that is accepting gifts. Here it is from your husband..the person for whom you are fasting. {Smart, isn't it? ;)}

On returning home from the Puja, the lady offers the Vaan to her husband and the husband will give her a gift as a token of his appreciation. NOW..the Puja is complete. ;)

But the fast still remains. The fasting lady will only break her fast on the next day.

But the one thing I like about Hindu traditions is their flexibility. Of course you are fasting, but you are allowed to eat fruits and milk. Now that's not bad..I say.

And if you have read this entire post..pat your backs.
I am so proud of you all.;)

The third and the final part (YES..there's one more to go) of the Vat Savitri Puja will be up soon. And I promise it will be not be a text heavy post.

Till then,

And make us smile.

Friday, 26 July 2013

My Favourite Monsoon Getaway.

Yes..It's still raining in Mumbai..and to an extent that I am tired of it.
Commuting in these crazy Mumbai Rains..can be a real pain in the #@%.
But monsoons get me excited too..No No..I am not the Romantic kind!
It's just that..Monsoon is the time to escape to my favourite getaway spot.
Lonavla is like Mumbaites Paradise.
Affordable, beautiful, and just a 90 minutes drive from Mumbai.

For those who aren't aware Lonavla is a hill station in the district of Pune in the state of Maharashtra which is about 96 kms away from Mumbai.
Just a drive to Lonavla completely rejuvenates me, and hence we try to visit it atleast once a year if not more. It is beautiful, serene and cool throughout the year and hence also a favourite weekend getaway for most.
The name Lonavla is derived from Len meaning a resting place carved from stone and Avali meaning series.

I am sure you would much rather like to check out the pics rather than hear me blabber. So I leave you with some clicks from my past trips. Hope you like them.

P.S. For an Update on my latest Lonavla Trip..stay tuned. :)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Monochrome on my Nails

Yes, you guessed it right..! I am still lacking inspiration, and hence doing a nail art post...again..!

I am such a fan of the monochrome trend and thought it would be a crime to limit this trend to our wardrobe alone? And so I did this nail art, which by the way requires a lot of patience, if your nail art tools include a scotch tape, toothpick and needle.
(Me and my stingy self..never mind..!!)

Do let me know what you feel about it.

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P.S. The finishing of this nail art sucks..but then at the end of it, I was too tired to make any amends.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Stuffed Chillies.

If you have been following So-Saree regularly you would know about my undying love for food.
As much as I love food, I hate recipes that are elaborate and time consuming.
I am always up for recipes that are quick, easy to make and do not compromise on taste at all.

So the first recipe that I decided to post on So-Saree, was the most basic Stuffed Chillies. It is soo easy to make that even an 8 year old can make them easily.

Big Green Chillies - 8-10
Grated Fresh Coconut - 2 Cups
Red Chilly Powder - 1 Tbsp (you can adjust it as per your taste)
Cumin Powder -1 Tsp
Lime Juice - 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 Tbsp

Cut off the stem of the chillies and slit them vertically, so as to remove their seeds. This variety of green chillies are less hot but I still recommend wearing gloves while cleaning them.
Once done, wash them under running water and squeeze some lime juice inside the slit chillies.
Keep them aside for about 15-20 mins.

 In a dish, mix the grated coconut, cumin powder, red chilly powder and salt, and mix with a spoon.
Adjust the taste of the stuffing by adding the spices of your choice.
Grated Fresh Coconut
Coconut+Chilly Powder+Cumin Powder+Salt
=Filling for Yummy Stuffed Chillies
Now stuff the chillies with this filling.

Place it in a microwave dish and microwave it for about 3 minutes. This will minimize the time needed to stir fry the chillies on the non stick pan.
Once done add some oil to a non stick pan, and place the microwaved chillies on them. Adjust the flame to medium.
Keep turning the chillies so that they get nicely tanned [;)] from all sides. This should not take more than 5 mins.

And we are done. This can be served as a side dish, and can be prepared in no time.
Apologies for the bad presentation, apparently my family was too hungry and upset that I was clicking pics instead of serving them.
 I am hungry already..what about you guys??

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P.S. You can follow the same recipe by replacing chillies with ladyfingers and believe me they taste awesome. Just eliminate the lime juice and you are good to go.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Bumblebee Nails.

Lately I have been royally ignoring my blog..I am SO-SORRY..So-Saree..!

Not that I am enjoying it, but life has been too busy lately. Whether it's on the personal front or professional. Plus the monsoons are not helping either.

I was planning to do Part 2 of the Vat Savitri Post, but it is taking more time than I had expected. So, I decided to do something that does not involve much reading.

When I am stuck for inspiration, I go the nail art way. Not only does it de-stress me, it makes good content for my blog too.

So without further ado, scroll down to see the nail art which I had done not long ago.
The inspiration  for these was naturally the Bumblebee..and to complement it I combined it with some floral design.

Hope you like it.

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