SAAWAN MELA ....
I had been wanting to do a post on a Saawan mela that I attended recently but somehow just got around to doing so when the month of Saawan has make an exit. But still, better late than never !
According to the Hindu calender, the month of Sravana, commonly known as Saawan is the fifth month beginning in late July and ending in the third week of August. It is considered to be a holy month in India since many festivals are celebrated during this time.
This is also the season when the monsoons hit the overheated plains as a result of which you get to see lots of greenery all around. Lush green meadows, thick foliage and a totally washed and purged Earth , where each blade of grass glistens after the showers, prooves to be a sight for sore eyes for sure and the much needed respite to the thirsty, parched land as well . Without any doubt, green is the colour of the season . I remember, as a kid we used to look forward to this month because of the festivities it brought along with it. The main attraction was the big swing that we kids from the neighbourhood used to put up on the strongest tree we had in the compound. The swing was one that had thick ropes, that would be hung around the tallest branch and it would have a wooden plank , just a few feet above the ground , where we kids piled up often pushing and shoving each other to get on it first, all in good fun , of course. We would be dressed in green mostly, with green bangles and lots of mehendi ( henna) on our palms, swinging away to glory and having the time of our lives.
Now it seems like a different era. Hailing from a small town, I was fortunate enough to enjoy these simple pleasures as a kid, which now seems to have vanished in big towns and metros. The month of Saawan comes and goes without leaving any happy memories behind. There are times we don't even notice it but yes I do try and tell my kids about the significance of these months and the stories and traditions attached to them so that they are not completely oblivious to them. It is sad that many traditions are dying because people have no time to remember them or to keep them alive.
This year, however, I was in for a surprise when I received an invitation to attend a Saawan mela organised by Sanatkada art and craft shop. It was an event to celebrate the season and to enjoy the festivities attached to it. I grabbed the opportunity and took the kids along so that they could have a dekko too. It was a beautifully organised event with swings , mehendi, a live Kajari performance ( Kajari songs come in the genre of semi classical singing ,they originate from the North-Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are sung in the monsoon season, with dark clouds looming large over you ) , shopping, especially handcrafted and hand painted stuff (Kalamkari fabrics were lovely), stalls with piping hot savoury delicacies of the season like pakories ( fritters) with chai ( tea) malpua ( a sweet dish in the form of pancakes, cooked in ghee, soaked in syrup and garnished with nuts, which I stayed away from ;) ) , nankhatai ( how do I explain that ) chaat ( every Indian would know what that is ) that was mouth watering and lots of other goodies too. It truly reminded me of my childhood and I'm so glad I attended it.
I'm posting some pictures that I clicked of the event/ gathering so that I can share the Saawan fun with all of you. It's a visual feast so hope you will like it :)
A total fun packed event and I salute the spirit of the organizer who still feels the world should celebrate these small traditions and find a reason to get together at such events. There was much more to the event than what meets the eye here. Having two kids in tow tugging and pulling at your arm does'nt really help when you are in a mood to take photos. I missed the Kajari performance so could not capture that and I so wish I could have taken some food pictures. Makes me wonder why I did'nt. May be I was too busy having a go at all that mouth watering stuff that I totally missed clicking pictures but will keep that in mind next time ;)