Saturday, July 9, 2011


It was 9.15AM- the school assembly session was going on in full swing , all of us standing to rapt attention in our starched and crisp uniform under the watchful eyes of the Principal and the staff. But few of us, blissfully unaware of the happenings, were throwing furtive glances at girls to know who were wearing the sacred turmeric smeared threads around their necks on that day. This was our best chance to know who belonged to the Brahmin community, not that it made any difference to our lifestyles in any manner but the very fact we were standing out from the  rest of the crowd mattered the most. The day was ''Karadayar Nombu ''- the ''karvachouth '' of the south.
       Legend has it, that Savithri , through severe penance , was able to bring back her husband Sathyavan from the clutches of Yama, the Lord of death. She  observed fasting in the forest and as offering made  'prasad'  from mud which eventually turned out to be tasty sweet  with the blessings of the Lord ! This day is observed as KaradayarNombu by girls for getting good prospective grooms and married women ,for the longevity of the lives of their husbands.
       But all we  then knew was that we had to get up early , take the ritual oil bath and wear those  gorgeous 'pattu pavadais'. Mom  would spread the  plantain leaf - on it there would be deliciously prepared "Nombu Adai" made  of jaggery with the deadly combination of homemade  butter to go with it. There wouid also be  betel leaf  with jasmine  flowers and of course  the sacred yellow thread. We would tie those  sacred threads around our necks and eat those lipsmacking sweet. The ceremony over, we wouid change to uniform and rush to school little knowing  the significance  of the day. The only thing that related to us was the fact that the women folk got the chance to lay their hands on the  'prasad ' before anyone else and there would be hush hush  talks in the class amongst us giving description of the  event and a feeling of one  upmanship and elation  of looking different on that day - a welcome break  from the routine !!
                                            Sunita sriram                                  


  1. Good that such traditions are being followed. :)

  2. yes...Indrani, the tradition is the Karvachouth of the Tam Bram community!


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