It was fun to play tambola with relatives

After I moved to a new house in Madipakkam area, my wife was feeling a bit lonely because, of the previous apartment life.  There she was talking at least with my neighbourhood.  The new house is an individual house, bit bigger than the previous house she has to work hard to keep it clean. Alan (my son) will always keep his toys everywhere.

After a wonderful meal people are in a mood to sleep

After a wonderful meal people are in a mood to sleep

Last weekend my house was filled with friends and relatives.  My uncle Jacob and aunty Jansi from Madurai, My Chithy DhanaSeeli and Chithappa Chellappa  (+ their Son Praveen and Daughter Pappu), Another Chithy Dora from Madurai and her Daughter Jemmy (+ Jemmy’s husband) .. another uncle Chandrasekar and his son Anand (+ his brother Jeba) .. another uncle Immanuel Jeyaprakash and aunty Leeli Mana Jothy (+ sister Merylin and Christal) ,and my sister Priya

It was like a festival. My wife was too busy in inviting them and serving drinks. Every one was wondering how my wife is going to prepare food for all the people gathered on that day. Fortunately we bought the Biriyani parcel from the church (St. James Church, Ullagaram, Chennai) because that day in church we celebrated the “Harvesting Festival“.

After we had a good lunch we played “Tambola” game. My son was too excited to play with more that ten people. Previously he has to play with two or three people only. It was fun an we enjoyed a lot.

What is Harvesting Festival?

What is Harvesting Festival?

pastorFarmers will bring their best of the first harvested crops / vegetables / fruits every year to the church as an offering to GOD on a particular day – “Harvesting Festival”.  After a few years the tradition changed. Shepherds brought the best of breed sheep and goats as offerings.  Then the trend changed. Whoever was willing to contribute to the church, will bring some thing affordable by them.

Preparation for the festival

The festival agenda will be announced in the church a month before. In our church, St. James Church, Ullagaram, Chennai people will be informed early because they will be prepared for the festival.  The target is, each family should bring at least one friend or family to this festival. In a “weekly meeting” people will be allocated to put stalls. Whatever they are selling for the church, the money will utilized for the needy people.

The Day’s Message

This is a very important day for each one of us. Our pastor will give a speech on the importance of bringing offerings to the church, ‘why to bring?’ and ‘what are all the benefits’ you will be enjoying latter in the year as a blessing from GOD.  Once the message is over, in the regular offering session people will bring their special offerings to the altar (The table in Christian churches where communion is given / A raised structure on which gifts  to a god are made).

How the festival will begin?

church members are buying token

church members are buying token

Pastor will do a special prayer. Then we will have to buy our tokens specially made for festival seasons (Rs. 5, Rs. 10) We will have to buy these tokens to purchase anything inside the festival campus. This tokens are like Secondlife’s linden Dollar(L$)  Currency (The virtual world Second Life has its own economy and a currency referred to as Linden Dollars (L$).) For example if we have to buy a plate of idly, we will have pave 2 ten rupees tokens. It was a great fun to kids and adults as well.

Fun starts with breakfast

After you get the tokens, you will have a plenty of options to buy your breakfast. Some of the breakfast items (stalls)

  • Hot idly with saambar and chattny
  • Hot idly with chicken curry
  • Idiyaappam with chicken curry
  • Pongal & Vadaa
  • Bread omelette
  • Egg Bondaa
  • Banana bajii
juice stall

juice stall

Breakfast will be followed by coffee or tea or soft drinks. At the same time ice-creams are also available. In one of the stalls you will get south Indian special Murukku, Athirasam, achoo murukku. Teens will be busy in packing the Biriyaani (you ll have to book the biriyani tokens one week in advance – to avoid the wastage).

Fun and games

  • Balloon shooting game is all time favorite for many of the church kids. Once they shoot a balloon, they will be awarded with a vehicle toy / a story book. If they shoot the smallest balloon they will be awarded with a big mega toy (the balloon will be flying in the wind – bit difficult to shoot).
  • Throwing rings on objects. There will be lots of small objects placed like toys,  sweets, etc. you will have to throw the rings on the objects. If you win you will get the same object as price.
  • Guess the cake weight. You will have guess the weight of a big birthday cake. Finally at the end of the festival the results will be announced. Whoever guessed nearest weight will win the cake as the price.
  • Draw your luck. You will have to spend a 1o rupee token to tell your lucky number. Pastor will ask any one of the kids to draw a number. Then the winner will be awarded with a costly Kanchipuram Sillk Saree.

Great Moments – The Auction

Auction - A Saree

Auction - A Saree

All the offerings will be place in front of the altar and the auction starts. The representatives of our church (mostly old people – but very active people “Old is gold”) will begin the auction. Auctioning is an art. To keep the crowed engaged, definitely we need some special skills and experience. Anybody from the church can bid. If you win the bid you could pay the money by cash immediately or in the coming week in partial payments. It was nice to see potted plants as offerings by some thoughtful people. I still remember the good old days, when my dad used to bid for hen which he himself offered.

kucheee ice – school days enjoyment :)

குச்சி ஐஸ்

குச்சி ஐஸ்- ice

From the left my son Alan Jeffsan, his friend Moses and Moses’s brother were enjoying their kuchii  ice. I took this photo in my Ullagaram CSI Church, Chennai  a week back when we were celebrating “Harvesting Festival ” to collect funds to help NMSI.

Still I remember the Paal Ice (குச்சி ஐஸ்) one for 50 paise, we use to eat in my school days.  I use to eat lots of  ice whenever my father and I visited his friend Bhasheer’s Ice  factory in Ramanathapuram. Bhasheer uncle and my dad were classmates.I use to have at least three Paal Ices.  It was a great fun to watch how they make those big ice bars.

Small and medium scale merchants will come there to collect the ice bars in iceboxes in their three-wheelers. Most of them were those who sell ice and ice creams in the road side. These boxes will have thermocol sheets to protect the ice from melting.

After our cricket practice sessions in J.J. College of Arts and Science in Pudukkpttai in the weekends we had ice. I had different varieties in my college life namely kuchee ice (குச்சி ஐஸ்), Gulfee Ice (குல்பி ஐஸ்), Paal Ice(பால் ஐஸ்), Ice cream box, tube ice ….

There was an ice called lipstick ice because once you had them your lips well become red for a while. So kids love to have that lipstick ice.

Even though my mum advised us not to take these ice in school, often I had them without her knowledge  :). After I had the ice, I collect those small sticks so that the I will use them in my project works. My father once taught me how to use these stick as a fence to zoo project, how to  arrange them as trails so that a train made up of empty matchboxes will travel on that  … My dad’s creativity was incomparable. Now I am teaching whatever I learned from my dad to my son every weekend.