“Happy New Year Kaka”, wished Saloni to her Prakhar Kaka.
“Thank you beta”
In the same way on the New Year Eve, Saloni wished all the family members and received their blessings.
“Sallu, go finish the reading of last chapter”, instructed Gowri.
“No Bua please, I will finish it tomorrow in the morning”, replied Saloni and ran towards the veranda.
Saloni’s is a joint family. Usha and Samrat are her parents; she has a younger brother Kishore.
They have a family habit of sitting all together on the dining table for having their dinner and family chitchats.
“Everyone! come to the meeting place, the dinner is ready”, announced Usha from the large modern open kitchen.
Everyone took attention to hear this utmost important declaration of the day and stopped all their work. They came at the dining table within 5 minutes of the announcement as if they were eagerly waiting for this breaking news to be announced.
“Maa, what curry is this?”, asked the little child Kishore pointing towards a glass bowl.
“It’s Palak beta”, replied Usha while serving the food.
“Gowri Bua, please pass me the dal”, asked Saloni.
“Saloni, how is your preparation for second term going?”, asked Samrat.
“It is good Baba, I have completed almost 75% of the syllabus”
“Nice, this time your target is 95%”
“Vaini, winter has arrived, before we go to bed let’s take the sweaters out for everyone from the shelf”, suggested Gowri to usha.
“Yes, remind me ones before we wash the vessels”, replied Usha.
“Karuna, tomorrow’s rangoli should be grand”, said Gowri.
“Okay Tai”, replied Karuna who is the younger sister of Gowri.
Karuna is fond of drawing, she herself painted the walls of her room and as rangoli is also an art related to drawing she took the responsibility of the cleanliness of veranda where she draws rangolis every early morning after thorough washing with water.
“Bua, why should tomorrow’s rangoli be grand?”, asked Kishore.
“Arey, because it is Makar Sankranti tomorrow”, replied Saloni.
“Usha, what about the new rice? I haven’t visited village this morning”, asked Samrat in a tensed tone.
“Don’t worry Aaho, Bhauji Kaka has parceled them this evening”, replied Usha.
“Thank God! Bhauji Kaka did it or else our Pongal would have gone wrong”, said Samrat in a calmed tone with a cunning smile.
“Pongal? But tomorrow is Makar Sankranti Baba”, said Kishore in a proud way as if he had the whole knowledge of what is Makar Sankranti.
“Kishori, Makar Sankranti is called Pongal in Tamil Nadu”, spoke Karuna breaking the pride of Kishore.
“Bua! Don’t call me Kishori, I don’t like that name”, cried Kishore and the whole dining table vibrated at once with the family’s laughter.
“Don’t laugh! Baba have you brought kites?”, asked Kishore in an inrritated tone.
“Yes, yes”, replied Samrat.
“Karuna Bua, will you help me with my drawing on the theme Republic Day?”, asked Saloni.
“Sure Sallu, when is the deadline?” , replied Karuna.
“Okay, before 20th we will be done with your drawing”
“Thank you, Bua!”
“Bua, Republic Day is the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect, right?” asked Saloni.
“Aai, Pankaj wished me New Year at the time of Diwali and again a few days ago he wished me the same on the English New Year, I don’t know how many times in a year he celebrates New Year Eve”, spoke Kishore breaking the conversation between Karuna and Saloni which made him bored.
“This is the speciality of our country, Our India is a unique country, The number of New Year Eve’s we celebrate, no other country does.”, replied Usha.
“Yes, so true. Being Gujaratis we celebrate our New Year on the first day of Kartik Mahina which we call Bestu Varas.”, continued Samrat along with Usha.
“Dada, on the first day of Chaitra Mahina people in Maharashtra and Goa celebrate New Year which is called Gudi Padwa”, continued Karuna.
“Then in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh what is New Year called?”, asked Gowri to test the knowledge of the family members.
“Bua, Ugadi “, answered Saloni.
“Yes beta, in Kerala it is Onam and In Punjab they call it Baisakhi.”, replied Usha.
“In West Bengal and Tripura New Year is called Poyla Boishakh, In Tamil Nadu it is Puthandu,” said Gowri.
“In Bihar it is Jude Sheetal and in Odisha New Year is called Pana Sankrati”, continued Karuna.
“Amma, please give me a new notebook tomorrow I have waited for the New Year to come to start the book”, spoke Kishore breaking the deep conversation in between just because he recollected to start the book after 14 days of the New Year.
“Okay beta”, replied Usha with a giggle as she caught him forgetting the start of his new notebook.
“January is a new beginning”, said Samrat.
“Because it is the first month Baba”’ replied Kishore.
“January is all about a fresh start”, said Usha.
“Also winter sweaters and blankets Vaini”, replied Gowri.
“It also has special occasions like Makar Sankranti, Republic Day and my birthday”, continued Karuna.
“You all forgot adding the second terms exams”, spoke Saloni showing her eternal pain.
“Chalo chalo, everyone go brush and sleep we all have to wake up early tomorrow”, commanded Usha noticing that everyone has finished their meals.