The moment of Bhogi


The festival of Bhogi (போகி) in South India is celebrated on the last day of the month mArgazhi (மார்கழி). The first day of the next month, thai (தை) is celebrated across Tamil Nadu with much fanfare and is also well known as the festival of Pongal (பொங்கல்). Pongal is also known by other names such as Sankaranti across India.

While the festival of Pongal is well-known, Bhogi is relatively unheard of by a majority of the Indians. While initially envisioned as the festival that acts as a cadence point for people, i.e. a good chance to get rid of the vile, hatred, animosity and dirt in them and start afresh, every single year it has been misconstrued by a majority of the population who take the word literally. People throng to the streets to burn their old belongings that range from old clothes, cardboard boxes, old tires and so on with no regard to the smoke and pollution that ensues, much to the chagrin of their neighbors. Time and again, this has been a huge deal in the major cities in South India thus leaving the Pollution Control Board authorities scratching their heads and causing traffic snarls. And given that the month of mArgazhi is pseudo-winter for most South Indian cities, there’s occasional fog and we all know what happens when smoke and fog have a little tête-à-tête. A festival that was originally conceived to let go of the hatred has only gone to increase it even further with people censuring their irresponsible neighbors (who retort back) over their balconies.

So, why bring Bhogi suddenly to attention, you’re asking!

After several months (years), I finally logged back in to my WordPress account only to find several drafts that never saw the light. Most of these were almost half written after which I had simply lost the patience to ramble. As I read through them, I understand that they’re worthless now given that they were written in response to an incident that happened during that time. Trying to finish that entry and then post it would have been a meh moment since that would have no relevance in today’s context. (**cough** Windows 8 **cough**). So, I drudgingly went ahead and deleted almost all of my drafts, barring a couple thus realizing my moment of Bhogi. I do have 2 drafts that are still lying around but far far from completion. I hope to get to it in the next two years. I promise!