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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

We used to steal batashas on Gudi Padwa: Lata Mangeshkar

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 11, 2013
First Published: 11:43 IST(11/4/2013) | Last Updated: 12:59 IST(11/4/2013)

Lata Mangeshkar on her childhood memories of Gudi Padwa and of filching sweets from the gudi

As kids, all of us — Meena, Asha, Hriday and Usha — would wait for the gudi to be decorated. We used to create what is called, ‘shakkar ka haar’ (garland of sugar), which is made of batashas. This garland used to be draped on the gudi. All of us would fight to make the garland. Later, we used to steal the batashas and eat them.

I remember that we would get a chance to get our hands on the sweets only in the evening or during the afternoon when everyone would be taking a nap. Since Meena and I were older than the other two, we’d plot and carry out this mission every year. The others were too young to think of all this. Many times, Meena and I would get caught and get a sound beating.

This year on Gudi Padwa, I will go to Pune to inaugurate a music school started by Vishwanath Karad. The school is housed in a university. They have a variety of classes for students to choose from — vocal, instrumental etc.

Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of New Year for Maharashtrians. The day is considered auspicious to start any venture, whether it is opening a new shop or releasing a new movie. Earlier, we used to buy jewellery or gold coins as a tradition, but we don’t do it anymore. However, we still prepare Puranpoli to welcome happiness in our lives.

In a festive mood, Maharashtrian TV actors tell us what Gudi Padwa means to them

Gautami kapoor: ‘I celebrate Gudi Padwa at my mother’s house’ I celebrate Gudi Padwa at my mother’s house in Prabhadevi as it’s a big occasion for Maharashtrians. In keeping with tradition, my mom hangs a handmade ‘gudi’ (a copper pot tied to a bamboo stick, adorned with a bright yellow piece of cloth, mango leaves and a garland of flowers) on the window. My kids enjoy helping her make the gudi. We usually have lunch; my brother and his kids join us too. I always remember our grandmother on Gudi Padwa. She was a very good cook and used to make delicious Puranpolis, Karanjis and Aam Panna. Since everyone is so busy these days, festivals have become more about spending time together. Earlier we would buy gold on this day, but I don’t anymore. Shopping during fests means huge crowds and waiting in queues.

Renuka Shahane: ‘Gudi Padwa for me is a time to eat sweetmeats’ Gudi Padwa for me is a time to eat sweetmeats. People buy new clothes and gifts. It’s considered an auspicious day for new ventures. But in our house, Dussehra and Dhanteras were bigger occasions to buy gold or anything new. We hardly celebrated the fest at my mother’s house and neither do we do so now. I do the puja (prayer) of the ‘gudi’ and I’ve told my kids about the day’s significance. I feel there is a resurgence of traditions these days.

People are becoming more aware and they want to celebrate the fest to pass on traditions to the next generation.

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