Celebrating Lohri the north Indian way in south India.
How much more Punjabi can a festival get than Lohri? Shiny clothes, zari, colour and food. This year we got together at the home of a generously hospitable family in my building complex. The sound of the dholki announced the arrival of the fun-filled evening gradually moving its way up to a crescendo. Faces flushed with joy, the dance floor was filled with 8 to 80 year olds.
Bonfire, song and dance. Image source: heraldspot.com
Hot elaichi flavoured dhaba style tea, popcorn, rewri, pakoras – sitting in the cold evening air around a warm bright wood fire. It was the closest I felt to heaven in a long time.
Lohri munchies. Image source: pinterest.com
Our dwj (dholki wala jockey) seemed to have mastered the art of drawing everyone to the dance floor. Anyone who has attended a Punjabi wedding sangeet will be familiar with the lyrics of the songs that call out the guests by name – with a dose of poetry thrown in. All ages, shapes and sizes ended up showing their moves on the dance floor, including yours truly. While the audience clapped, whistled and hooted.
The munchies ended typical Punjabi style with puri, chole and gajar halwa. Which even my husband couldn't resist getting up from his couch and making an appearance for.
Reluctant to move away from the warmth of the now dying fire, I marveled at how the different Indias come together to celebrate functions, irrespective of religion, caste, tradition and location.
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By Anita Gulati
Cover photo credit: eatreat.in