Waking up before the dawn breaks, cleaning the threshold and experimenting with new patterns of ‘rangoli’, tying ‘mamidi thoranam’ (strings of mango leaves) to the main entrance, donning traditional attires and tasting the authentic ‘pachadi’ mark the celebration of ‘Ugadi’.

Bringing freshness in varied forms, Ugadi is one of the main festivals for Telugu community, ushering in new hope and beginning. The festival, according to the Hindu lunar calendar, is being observed on ‘Shukla Padyami’ during ‘Chaitra masam’, ‘Vasantha ruthuvu’ (spring season).

Youngsters in the city brace up to welcome ‘Jaya Nama Samvatsaram’. It is the festival that brings people together across the cities. Sanjana, a young professional who has currently taken a break, says, “For me Ugadi means family time. Despite my hectic schedule in Bangalore, I make sure to visit my hometown (Vizag) and have fun with family and friends. Of course, it’s going to be tough for my mother to dish out a long menu that includes coconut rice for my father along with some of my favourite delicacies such as ‘pulihora’, ‘boorelu’ and ‘bobbatlu’.”

For some the celebration mood begins weeks ahead. Lalitha, a student, says that she helps her mother in the preparation. “I and my sister Bhagavathi take care of the dusting and decorating part of the house. We also help our mother in preparing Ugadi ‘pachadi’ that combines ‘shadruchulu’ (six flavours—‘theepi’, ‘pulupu’, ‘karam’, ‘chedu’, ‘vagaru’ and ‘uppu’) signifying the fine balance of life,” says Lalitha. Ruehie, student of GITAM, says it’s the best time to go on shopping spree. Some of the youngsters turn nostalgic as they say they celebrate the festival in their villages amidst the pristine charm of the rural setting.