Friday, September 29, 2017

My Late Ayudha Pujai Celebrations

Ayudha Pujai is a south Indian festival, means worship of instruments, and is celebrated by all working people towards their occupation of tools. Ayudha Pujai had once been my favourite festival next to Deepavali and Pongal, and I always looked forward for this day (until my maternal uncle was alive) since our house was attached to my uncle’s Maruti (car) workshop. My parent’s was an inter family marriage and my dad married his sister’s daughter, so our relationship with my uncle doesn’t need an explanation and we are close enough to celebrate it as a family festival, calling close relatives, along with his co-workers the festival will go off enthusiastically.

Actually it was the night before the festival day we (me and bro) enjoy lot. Throughout the night the employs will involve in activities of cleaning the workshop, whitewashing the walls and repainting the tools and machineries. The employs were like brothers and uncles to us and a step outside the home will land into the workshop which means we often end up playing with the employees and have fun during their free times. And when a night and day is left to spend with them, how could we miss the fun in helping them and decorating the workshop to look colourful for the festival. Even our parents put us in bed forcefully, we couldn’t sleep really and mind kept thinking about going out and joining the workers but we make certain being outside till midnight or uncle warns to go to sleep.

Photos from the archives of 2007 celebration
On Ayudha Pujai, the day begin with a fresh feel looking at the workshop, free from all the greasiness and floors washed off and walls painted neatly in white with colour papers and festoons adorning  the workshop. We play songs in tape recorder to keep up the celebration mood and two big banana trees will be tied on the entrance of the workshop and all our vehicles will line up in front of the garage with flowers and sandal sprinkled on them after the water wash. The items for worship like aval pori, fruits, sweets and snacks will be bought in bundles and after puja (or worship) the items will be distributed in carry bags to workers, customers, drivers whoever attend the festival and also to nearby shops and friendly neighbours. Pori (puffed rice) is the main part of the festival, so mostly it would be a big sack to go into many carry bags and I also like watching how it take place along with fruits and snacks. Added to this a set of cloth (to be stitched as shirts and pants) was given to each employ apart a month salary as bonus.

I don’t think anyone would have given such benefits to their employs like how my uncle did.   He always cared and been generous with his co-workers, friends (whom were standing beside him when he opened the workshop) and anyone comes in need of things. I would say he has been a philanthropist throughout his growth and until he was alive; and our comfort level has risen almost because of him and the love and affect he kept on us. For anyone their father used to be their hero but I would consider him. During the festival our close relatives (whom were cousins overall) is invited and all our aunts were honour by saris and sometime we all have dinners together. As kids joining with cousins doesn’t need to say anything and its joyous occasion overall. Today we quite miss the fun and celebrations; since my uncle passed away (in 12/2001) things turned different and faced an end. 

15 comments:

Sandi said...

He was a generous man. It is really amazing how he did so much for others and for your family and it is still felt today.

"flowers and sandal sprinkled on them"

What do you mean here by "sandal"?


Jeevan said...

Sandi - Flowers and sandal is consider as auspicious in Indian and putting them on vehicle is a kind of worship in belief that vehicle will run trouble free

Twilight Man said...

This puja occasion sounds very festive and fun where everyone comes out to participate in cleaning up everything. The music, food offerings and prayers definitely added more merriment with peace & happiness for all. Best of all, your kind and generous uncle shared everything with everyone. Kudos!

Happy Weekend Jeevan. A postcard is on the way to find you!!

Gosia k said...

it is really interesting fesival and completely different from Europe

Arun Ind said...

Earlier we had a printing press, as you mentioned the cleaning time is more enjoyable and all employees participate cheerfully. We clean the machines, clear all the wastes for 2 days, The pooja day looks colorful decorated with colour papers, each employee shows his decoration skills, senior employee makes puja and offer prasadams. Thank you for reminding good old memories....

Destination Infinity said...

When I was young, I used to wash my cycle only on the day of Ayuda pooja. :P

Destination Infinity
PS: Good to know about your uncle and his workshop.

Sandhya said...

Yes, I can see you enjoyed those days very much. New merry days might come back, Jeevan! It is a cycle.

GreenComotion said...

Lovely photos of the Pooja and nice memories, Jeevan.
Enjoy the Navarathiri season.
Peace :)

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely festivities photos ~ Happy Celebration ~ enjoy ~ ^_^

(A ShutterBug Explores) ~ thanks for commenting ^_^

Nancy Chan said...

Interesting post. Have a beautiful day!

Lady Fi said...

Lovely decorations.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the festival sounds like fun. Your uncle sounds like a very generous man. I am sure he was well liked by all. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Rajesh said...

Good one. Wish you Happy Dasara.

Arti said...

I did not know about this festival, good to know more about it through your post Jeevan. Loved reading about how it's celebrated with such pomp, fervour and gaeity with employees as family. How wonderful to know about your uncle as well and the rich legacy he left behind in the form of his generosity. Hope it's carried on for many more generations to come!

Elsie Amata said...

I can feel how much love and adoration you and your family have for him and it is well deserved. I'm grateful you had such an amazing and wonderful uncle such as he in your life.

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Elsie