16 January, 2006

Pongal Meet in UK

We are used of living as a community. There is a general feeling that it does not work so in metropolitan cities. But still, there is a great feeling of community, which still persists in Cities. Whereever we are from, a City or Village, still we long for a good community. That too, having been far from Mother Land, we really miss many things in everyday's life. But on 15/01/06 we had a touch of our life, in Milton Keynes, near London when few bloggers and friends met for a day, to celebrate Pongal. It was a fantastic feeling.

Since I stay a bit far from the venue, we decided to go a day earlier. There was a warm invitation from a gentle couple Mrs Premalatha Balan and Mr Balan. I had known them only through blogging. After deciding to be in there house, Balans have read my mail sent to the group mail of bloggers in UK, and extended their invitation. There was another gentleman Mr Oswin Paul who was also keen in accomodating our family. I have no words to explain my happiness on receiving invitations. Still in order to keep up our earlier commitment we preferred to be with Balans. They promptly received us and we had a wonderful stay in their house. My kids enjoyed each and every moment in their house. Balan is a nice gentleman with pleasing manners and so Premalatha. Though they had lots of personal problems during the weekend and could not make up for the meet, but still made arrangements for us to reach the venue in time. If that was possible, it was again by another blogger reader, Baskaran a perfect gentleman. He drove us in his Honda City to the meet.

We reached the bloggers meet in time, but to our great surprise only two families were there and they happened to be the organisers. The meet was greatly organised by two young women Deepauma or Umadeepa. Confused........ they were so much together and I do not even want to type their name separately. WOW...they had planned so well and we had two elders, who happened to be one of the organisers in-laws, and were actively organising few stuff.

Suddenly came a 'Mallu Vetti Minor'. I was wondering the spirit of this gentleman who could come in a Silk dhoti, in such a cold place and later I got introduced to him to know that he was Oswin Paul. He had taken in charge of the acoustics and was there with the system. Slowly people started gathering. More children came and started running here and there. They were very happy.
I was impressed with the organisers leaving a corner for the toddlers. A kind participant had brought loads of toys for the children to play with. Most of the women were in sarees braving the cold. Few of the men were in Silk dhotis. I felt like I had come for a Tamil wedding. The euphoria was there.

Meet started with "Tamil Thai Vazhthu". The organisers themselves sang the song without even missing a word. It was wonderful. There were few events for the kids like fancy dress, solo events. Children were very happy. Almost every kid did well. Children found friends suiting their age. Slowly elders started mingling with others. There were solo events for elders too. Few ladies sang songs from Tamil films, and few men were also there to show that they are in no way behind. The famous Tamil blogger 'Dubukku' alias Renga was there playing Keyboard and cheerfully joking around. There were plenty of enthusiastic participants. We had a good meal from Saravana Bhavan.

After the break we had "Jodi Porutham" for married couples. Young eligible bachelors, and spinsters were requested to be the judge. The event was a bit hilarious. We got eliminated in the second round. The first round was, one of the couple to blow a baloon, and the other one to tie it. Husbands were asked to keep sticker pottus for their wives in the second round. Some of the wives were too enthusiastic and loving that they also kept pottu for their husbands. All of them "Pottu Parthargal".

Finally came the dancing section. It was nice to see many of the ladies leaving their shyness and dancing for Kuthu songs. "Annathai Aadarar Vechiko" from Apoorva Sakotharargal a Tamil movie, drew more participants and the children also happily danced with their parents. Since it was getting late, the curtains were down and we had to call the day.

Behind every successful woman there is a successful man. If Deepauma or Umadeepa could make it so successful, it was because of men behind them Ramki(Deepa's Husband) and Krishnakumar(Uma's Husband). Hats off to many more who were behind the scene and did a wonderful job.

The whole day I observed most of the participants, silently, and there was not a single person, young or old, woman or man, boy or a girl, who went out............................................................
having not smiled and laughed.

It was a great experience to have met 60 or above people from our land just a day after Pongal in United Kingdom.


Narayanan Venkitu said...

Great Post Balaji. Nice to read that you had fun. Congratulations to the organizers.

Ellam ok dhaan..But atleast 1 photo pohtirukkalahm??? Especially you being a Photographer.?

So, did you sing any song?

Dubukku said...

same thoughts as Narayanan
I was expecting some good quality photos from you

podunga sir

You were so silent...? Chettai ellam blog la thana illa kooda thangamani irundhangalennu adakki vaasicheengla :P

Balaji S Rajan said...

NV - Thanks. Yes it was fun. I am sorry for not taking my camera for the function. Probably I shall do it next time.

Dubukku - I thoroughly enjoyed your seshtaigal. I was not well, and so felt it will be strenous for me to carry the camera. Sorry that I did not take a single photo. Due to illness, I could not participate as much as I wanted. My sickness was also one of the reason for not taking part in Kuthu dance.

WA said...

Sooper Dooper Paarty polarukku. Sounds great

visithra said...

looks like u guys had fun ;)

LostLogic said...

nice to hear that still people who live in other places follow the customs which we been though

Chakra Sampath said...

Great to know abt the party. Its unfortunate that we couldn't make it and meet. There is always a next time.

Jeevan said...

Nice that u have met many blogfriends and enjoy the Pongal. Dubukku not only do chettai in Blogs, he also do it in real i think.

ada-paavi!!!! said...

sounds like u had a gr8 time!! cool, ingai i had a non existent pongal!!

Jo said...

Looks like you had lots of fun. :-)

Nallavan said...

dat was a gud post sir.
hope it wil continue.
BTW u r tagged

வேதா said...

it is a great thing that u have celebrated pongal in a great way that too in a foreign land. u know the real feelings of the festivals can be understood only when we are not in the mother land. i heard it from a lot who are out of india. i am happy that u enjoyed a lot.

Balaji S Rajan said...

WA- yes it was a super dooper party.

Visithra - Yes we had fun.

Lostlogic - Thanks

Chakra - We missed you and Balans.

Jeevan - Dubukku was uncontrollable. Even his kids could not control him.

Vatsan - Thanks.

Jo - Thanks dude.

Nallavan - I am married. How could I express in tag about my future lover.

Veda - Thanks. It is always greener the other side. That is it.Wherever something is minor it attracts.

Aarya said...

Good to hear about this blog friends association..seems like u guys had a great time. Nice blog :)

susubala said...

Nice to read all the funs you people had. Hope u had a great day ! BTW, I've TAGGED you on the subject 'My Perfect Lover'. Hope u enjoy coming out with this topic. Expecting it very soon.

Suresh babu said...

Very good coverage Balaji.

Vanathi said...

Good to know you are having nice blog friends...

Balaji S Rajan said...

Arya - Welcome to my blog. Thanks.

Susubala - Thanks. BTW I am still confused what to write about my tagging since I am married for 16 years and my wife is my perfect lover.

Suresh Babu - Thanks

Vanathi - Thanks.