It was a usual relaxed Saturday for Ovi. She got up a bit late as there was no school.Ovi was eager to know what is this weekend’s plan so she jumped out of the bed running straight to the kitchen. But Mummy looked busy with something.
“What are you doing mumma” asked Ovi in her curious voice.
“I’m preparing something for evening snacks as will have guests today evening”
“Wow…..what’s the occasion?”
“Haldi kumkum” said Ovi’s grandmother holding a big container of sesame laddoos. She added, “Come dear and help us to get ready for evening”
Ovi happily nodded and said “what do I need to do grandma”
Ovi was neatly arranging laddoos in a bowl. She had lot of things on her mind. Had already attended such Haldi kumkum, Ovi knew that it is a small get together of married women who put each other Haldi Kumkum, perfume on their hand, a flower in hairs .They all come nicely dressed. All enjoy together with some snacks and lot of talks. Sesame laddoo, her one of favorite sweets, is also given to everyone. In fact, this laddoo was the reason for Ovi to attend such ceremony with mom or grandma.
Seeing Ovi lost in thoughts, her grandmother asked her “What are you thinking?”
“Grandma,I like this ceremony a lot as we kids get to eat snacks, sweets and go around with you everywhere. But can you tell me why this Haldi Kumkum is done at all? And why only haldi and kumkum? Why not something else like lipstick and powder?”
Grandma laughed a little and understood Ovi’s curiosity.Her little mind was flooded with questions.
Grandmother kept her work aside and said.
“Beta,Haldi kumkum ceremony is considered as one of the auspicious one. In fact, it is performed in almost all Poojas done throughout the year. But during Makarsankrati, as you know, it’s done in a special way where women meet each other and spend some time together. In earlier days, when women were stuck inside the houses and housework, this was considered as one of the relaxing event where they could socialize and share, open up their minds.
It is said that gifting anything around the time of Makar Sankranti is auspicious and next to receiving the grace from the Divine hence women also give a small gift generally which helps them in their kitchen or daily life. The love and care behind this gift is more precious than the cost of gift.
Now why Haldi Kumkum? Haldi holds a lot of medicinal value. It’s like first aid available in our kitchen. It’s used to cure cough, pain and inflammation. Remember, why I give you Turmeric with warm milk when you have cough. Kumkum is prepared from Haldi. When it’s mixed with lemon and sun dried, we get Kumkum. This is applied on forehead because that is the place of pituitary gland. It balances hormones by activating pituitary gland”
“What is pi….pi….pi….?”
“Pituitary gland is a bag that contains some hormones means messengers for our body. If hormones are in good condition, they send proper messages in our body and help us in many ways to stay healthy, strong and Active. Kumkum activates this bag to work better. ”
Interrupting Grandmother, Ovi said “Now, I got the point. Basically the customs we follow has some or the other reason behind it which benefits us in many ways”
“Shabbaash Ovi…now Can I get back to my work…?” Grandma asked while laughing.
Ovi too showed a thumbs-up sign to grandmother.
By evening House was all set. Centre table was full with crockeries, flowers and gift items. Ovi was wearing her Irkal Parkar Polka and she was excited, waiting for her friends to arrive. The fragrance of her Gajra spread liveliness all around.