A trip down Pongal lane!

Editor Mohan, director Raja and actor Jayam Ravi get nostalgic about their favourite festival of the year.

Editor Mohan, one of the senior-most technicians in the film circuit, has always bagged the limelight on and off-screen along with his sons. Today, his sons, director Raja and actor Ravi have carved special places for themselves in the film industry. Here’s a peek into what Pongal means to him and his family.

Mohan: For us, it is a time when my sons, daughter, granddaughters and grandsons unite. My wife, Varalakshmi decorates the entire house. The mere thought of getting to meet my family members is exciting. We usually celebrate only two festivals in a grand manner — Pongal and Ayudha Pooja (which honours hard work and labour). Ten years back, we celebrated these festivals with my children — Raja, Ravi and Roja. But now my grandchildren join in for the celebrations too! I come from a family in Thirumangalam where we worship farming and cows. This year we decided not to celebrate Pongal in a big manner because there was no rain and the crops have been destroyed. My heart aches seeing the plight of farmers in the state.

Also, I do not support the ban against jallikattu. I have personally seen the fights, and they treat the bulls like lords. They feed them and take good care of them throughout the year. I don’t see anything wrong in this. This decision has been taken by those who haven’t researched on the sport. If this continues, bulls will be sent to Kerala for slaughter!

Raja: Pongal is a special festival for us. When we were young, our mother would help us with our academics. Now, after entering the industry, our dad guides us and we never speak against him. Even today, we celebrate Pongal in a traditional way, just like my dad taught us. We use veragu aduppu, manjal and clay pots for the festival.

Ravi: I still remember how my dad explained the goodness of the festival when I was a nine-year-old. He wanted me to experience it on my own. So, he took me to the market and taught me how to find an adi karumbu (sugarcane). Also, he explained the importance of thappu molam. Amma would explain how the farmers spend each and every minute on the farm.

We go traditional, wearing pattu veshti. Even today, I am the first one to taste the karumbu and my favourite dish is chakkara Pongal. Now, the tradition continues with my sons, Aarav and Ayaan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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