To all you bovine elements out there: Happy Cow Pongal!
To all you nature lovers who managed to celebrate Kanu: Happy Bird Feeding
Kanu Pongal is celebrated the day after Pongal and honours the animal kingdom. Women folk typically pray for the well-being of their brothers by feeding the crows.
How does this happen? Any ritual I try to explain comes out sounding ridiculous. I have the urge to learn now – why do we feed crows to make sure the brothers are fine? Maybe, it derived itself from “Kaka-puduchi-fying” – a term that roughly translates to ass-licking, though Kaka means crow.
I was trying to explain all of this to the usual suspect, my daughter who has never visited a village, and she chirps – “Oh, can I put food in the bird house I built?”
“No No No!” I stop her in alarm.
A little diversion for the bird house:
For those of you who don’t know, there is a jarring piece of art hanging in the name of a bird house in the garden. It is helpfuly labelled “Bird house”, lest you mistake it for a magic mansion. To clarify the structure to the animals, it specifies in clear English that the bird house is for birds only. It does not say “No squirrels allowed”. I have never seen any squirrels there. Come to think of it, I haven’t see any birds either. Putting all this together, we can reach a reasonable conclusion – squirrels know how to read, but the birds don’t.
Back to Kanu Pongal, my explanation of the Harvest festival came down to – “Keeping bird food on a leaf?” Please feel free to draw your own conclusions on my ability to teach.
A New definition in the New Year – not bad at all!