Yesterday was Janmashtami. In India, it’s a big festival. Offices and schools are closed and there is a huge line in lord Krishna’s temple to offer prayer to the eight incarnation of lord Vishnu. I am an athiest so actually don’t feel bad about not being able to offer any prayer. We probably never had that culture in our family. Although I have had chances to celebrate it when with my grand parents. And even thought I am not much in favor of blind prayers and rituals that follow, but I absolutely love the festivity that the occassion brings. The beautifully liten and decorated temples, and especially the thorne of Lord Krishna are mesmerizing. Dahi handi celebration is what makes this festival unique and a very thrilling experience. And this all comes with high carb food that we (atleast in gujarat) eat as a part of our all day fast.(Yeah this is kind of wierd, but trust me all those foods are better indulgences than food eaten on any other routine non fast day). As I said my family was never that religious, but what we actually did celebrate was the fasting food (faraal as is said in gujarati) throughout day. Any person who knows these names will immediately have increased saliva secretion!! – Faradi patties, sabudana khichdi, moraiyo, buff vada, rajagra no sheero, bateta ni kheer, doodh paak, faradi paatra, suki bhaji…..omg…the list is long, but this covers pretty much of it, and writing more names will bring tears to my eyes as they make me terribly miss those days.
Those days will never be back when me and my sister used to stay all day in proximity of kitchen, while our mother would cook those amazing foods. Dad would come down at the aroma of frying of very first patty to grab it. And by the time of lunch, probably everyone would be atleast half full.
Here I am sitting miles away from all of them just to be able to connect on phone and internet. Even the time zones do not allow us to celebrate the festival at the same time atleast electronically. Anyways I did continue with the tradition of fasting on the day of Janmastami, although the food changed a bit because of the lack of immediate availability of raw material. The morning started with this beautiful platter which included fresh fruits, nutella yogurt(home made) and freshly made hash browns. That was a pretty fulfilling and delicious breakfast. Probably this can be one more addition to the list of foods served on janmashtami as the food habits of people evolve while still retaining the festivity within them :).