A friend recently shared Conan O’Brien’s podcast with no real explanation. Hooked I subscribed to it via spotify and a couple of days later a new episode dropped.
The episode is a interview with Ramy Yossef by Conan and what I liked about it, was they went off on some really interesting tangents.
I came across some commentary on Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick. The discussion veered towards how the movie depicts a fictional enemy of the US was waging war against and that was probably so it could make money in every single country! They coined a term for it called financial wokeness. I think it was sarcasm.
Okay, since I brought up war, another friend spent the day before Makar Sankranti or first day of Pongal festival in South India with me.
We started to geek out of the significance of Sankranti day had in the historical context of war back from 14th January 1761. The Third Battle of Panipat was fought between the Marathas and Durrani armies.
The battle ended up in Maratha defeat and their influence over the subcontinent started to wane. This led to rise of British influence in India via their corporate entity the East India Company.
The reason you are probably reading this in English is partly because of some things that happened on that fateful Sankranti day.
Okay, enough of big picture things. Let us talk of festivals.
Speaking of Sankranti and Pongal I wondered how we celebrate festivals and how they change over time. Not culturally but individually. Festivals change their meanings and significance over time to every individual.
I used to love celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali festivals with cousins, food and more food. Later as festivals were celebrated more with my parents and sister, joking, laughing, watching a movie and yes, eating a lots of food. Those were good times to remember too, especially as my folks are no longer around.
But I take joy in hearing some of my friends and neighbours talk about how they are spending festivals and celebrating with their families.
With that – Belated yet heartfelt – Happy New Year, Happy Sankranti and Happy Pongal everyone!