Night before pongal

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The night’s routine has been etched in my mind forever. Going to the market with dad, shop hopping to find the tallest sugarcane and then adamantly struggling to carry it home on my own. A question popped into my head now which is weird because the answer makes no difference to me. Is sugarcane a fruit? Google says its not. It belongs to the grass family and India is the second largest producer of this grass. Digression creeps in. Can’t help but let your mind wander away. So used to this phenomenon after sitting in monotonous lectures. Going back to the night of festivities, the late night back-breaking session of drawing and coloring in an attempt to lay out the best rangoli in front of our home makes a special entry in my memory. Every member of the family has a role to play in achieving this grand feat. My mom has never attended any art class in her life nor is she a prodigy but I claim she’s a genius. She can lay out any shape, angular or curvy picture perfect. Hence occasional  help from her greatly embellishes my work. Next in line to “help me” is my brother with his

bugging remarks. Though I must be thankful to him for keeping me awake and alive. The meteorologist that he is, my dad incessantly calls me inside after a threshold time is past worrying about the cold midnight breeze of January. Braving the weather, my grand mom gives me company recounting tales of yore and interesting anecdotes. Using up the last ounce of my energy and inspiration, I no longer care how my artwork looks. However at dawn, its Pongal and I’m drawn to look at our rangoli in bright sunshine. When it puts a smile across the faces of my family and friends, all the memory of hard work vanishes into thin air. Thus begins a joyous day with all the food and merriment.

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