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We are in Tamil Nadu, exploring the home of the famous 'Tanjore Paintings' and the marvellous temples, which are unique to the state. Pongal is the occasion that attracted us city dwellers here and we set out to explore the state as it celebrated the happiest period in its calender.
Pongal is celebrated for four days, and the first day is called ‘Bhogi', where people pay respect to the supreme ruler of the clouds, Lord Indra. Homage is paid for the plentiful rains, thus resulting in a good harvest that brings prosperity to the land.
Bhogi is also celebrated by burning old, unwanted household items in a big wooden bonfire. This reminds us of how scooters have evolved over the years. The one-sided engine that needed a rider to counterbalance the weight is long gone and Body Balance Technology of the Wego is the new way.
The following day marks the main occasion of Pongal when rice and milk are boiled in clay pots, offering thanks to the Sun God. The traditional process before pots are kept on the fire are still withheld, and are seldom seen in big cities.
The day is also an occasion to munch on sugarcane, which brings back childhood memories for many of us, watching as our dads stacked up several canes on a scooter to bring back home - the joy remains the same till date, although the scooters have evolved.
After a ‘traditional' meal, it was time to ride out and explore the art of Kolam, the auspicious design which is traditionally traced in white lime outside the house. However, in the modern day, the sky's the limit when it comes to colour and design.
Cattle are a source of wealth too, be it in the form of diary products, fertiliser, and of course, to help plough the land.
Cattle are praised on the third day of Pongal, a day celebrated as ‘Mattu Pongal'. Cattle play a key role to help transport people from one place to another, which the Wego does with ease, thanks to its CVTi engine.
‘Kaanum Pongal' marks the end of the four-day long festival in Tamil Nadu. Family reunions take place during the last day, and landlords usually distribute gifts, while family members go out to nearby places to relax after having a hard year's work.
Also, this is the day on which events and sports are held such as the famous ‘Jallikattu', a sport that dares men to tame bulls. Although the sport has received a lot of criticism, the tradition of safeguarding the Kangayam Bulls lives on.
As the festivities came to an end, there was a palpable sense of unease amongst the children as they realised that the holidays were at an end and it was time to head back to school again.
However, a ride on the back of the Wego bought back the joy into the kids, just like it does every day for a regular commuter who knows that he has achieved something after a hard day's work while riding the TVS.
And just like those kids, we too have a reason to be joyful as we proudly say, here #Wego!