Lets Get Together with Our Head and Heart


Pic Credit – Keshav

Of late thoughts of this nature haunt my mind. Have we made our life too complex to live? Do we have the time to be on our own into those beautiful moments of solitary refinement to introspect and gain those wise insights of absolute wisdom? Privacy has become a public entity. We can live those moments without bothering about our child who is yet to come back from school but not without the mobile phone that was just misplaced. Everything is getting digital and the world is becoming totally virtual sans any personal face to face interactions. Meaningless communication, unseen posts and random forwards have become the idea of keeping in touch but the big question here is do we really connect? Do we enjoy the togetherness we feel when we meet each other in Whatsapp? Do we get that warmth that we treasure when we hold each other’s hands when we like and comment in Facebook? The answer is a Big No.


Now let us move to the pleasant side of things. It is the season of Navaratri in Tamilnadu, a  celebration of 9 evenings culminating on the 10th day, Vijayadasami.


This festival is celebrated all over India in different forms such as Dussehra, Durga Puja, Navratra and many more. It is a season of celebration, inviting people home, and meeting up spread over 9 days, a reason to connect and indulge in social interactions. To make it interesting and also with a spiritual view, we keep Golu, steps with dolls of various forms and also a miniature representation of a park or temple or anything under the sun to show off the creativity in every human being. Spiritually, it is to reinforce the understanding that everything is the same be it bird, animal, plants, insects and also a subtle teaching to our children to respect them.



This celebration of social importance is slowly dwindling. Gone are the days when we would be struggling to meet up with the stream of people from our area visiting our house every day on this occasion. Today we manage to get a few on the weekend after a lot of follow up and constant reminders. It is a practice to go to other people’s house and invite them to our golu. When these people come home, we give them gifts, sundal (a savory made of sprouts). Even the invites today are sent through whatsapp and emails. We even get requests to put our golu pictures in social networks so others can see what we have done. When we think of those days, we would simply barge into unknown people’s home with a reason to invite them for golu and that has been a starting point for so many neighborhood friendship and family get-togethers.


This time, we decided we are not to be bogged down by these virtusmileal lives. We are about 60 families in the society and many of them do not keep golu because they work and do not find time to entertain people. We decided to host a community golu in our meeting hall. To ensure that there is participation and also interest, Inspiration and creativity from the youngsters and kids, we decided to make it a Golu with dolls recycled from waste materials. We started working on this a month earlier and we had hardly any support initially. But slowly the momentum picked up and we had a good lot of waste materials piled up in our space.


We arranged for a meeting of youngsters and kids and discussed with them various themes and our materials started taking shape into a scene. The best part is we started connecting and doing our bit to make this community golu a success. Every family took responsibility for different activities such as kolam, sundal, gifts and invites. It was much easier given the work load as many families had working members and every family took pride in this golu. We saw children playing together and every family took the initiative in inviting their relatives and friends to the golu.csr_parle_golugalata Relatives, friends were no more one family’s, they were introduced to all other families in the society and we could see what real togetherness is.  Suddenly, an event which was almost not there in our society has sprung up to life. And our homes are much lighter in terms of waste and our families lot more by heart.

We are now having discussions on how to make it much more bigger and better the next time. Now  our men are looking at making use of unused land in our society into vegetable and fruit garden. We cannot be more happier with such a solution for real fresh fruits and vegetables against spiraling vegetable prices and our love for gardening got a great boost.


We could never imagine an event in real world could connect us so much and we could see a huge barrier of ice breaking down. We are also planning to announce a No MOBILE day on Sundays and have community get-togethers every month.

Posted on October 21, 2015, in Editors Corner, Events, Heritage of Chennai, home, lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Happy Golu. Nice dolls to celebrate the essence of togetherness.

  2. manjulikapramod

    I had never heard about Golu before reading this. True, these festivals are a great way of feeling the real togetherness.

  3. i think festivals are a great time for the whole family to get together … awesome and lovely photos you have shared


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