Friday, 24 January 2014

Bogi – One message that stands above all!

Pongal or Sankranti marks the harvest season. The festival is celebrated in various ways across India and Nepal. The message that reaches far and wide is the expulsion of the old and unsustainable and the ushering in of the new. This applies equally to material and non-material things.

In Tamil Nadu, especially, Pongal follows Bogi or Bhogi. Bogi is celebrated one day prior to Pongal. On this day people clean up their homes, bring out all those household items that are no longer in use and burn things that have outlived their purpose.

Every year on the day of Bogi, houses are whitewashed or painted. A new look is given to the house and more space is created to usher in the new things that are expected to enter the house in the days to follow.

Kids would be seen on the streets waiting for their old things to be burnt. This burning of old things served two main purposes: Making way for new things and keeping people warm as this period marked the end of winter and beginning of summer.

Old and unwanted items are burnt, giving way to new requirements...

Throwing old things did not hurt the children as they saw the adults do it too. Slowly this becomes a way of life and specific days are allotted for housekeeping. Before harvest the house is cleaned. This also ensures that the harvest does not rot or spoil soon. Storing the fruits of hard work in an appropriate manner becomes a matter of habit.

On a higher and more philosophical scale the old people understand that every old life has to give way to a new life. People correct their thoughts and ideas and the mood is one of happiness and expectation. Younger people are told by the older one to weed out their unwanted thoughts and throw them into the flame too!

All past quarrels and ego tussles are unconditionally burnt, so that positive thoughts can take their place.

Bogi, figuratively and literally is the emptying of the house and mind of old, unwanted things that have, over a period of time, occupied valuable space. It signifies the ushering in of newer, more sustainable and positive things and thoughts.