The Sankranti get-together is fabulous. I am busy the entire Saturday with my directory work. I spent the Sunday morning planning for the activities for ladies and kids. Nirmala and myself had a brief chat about the gifts and material required for the planned games. I also played cricket with kids for a short time. After lunch, we headed for Antervedi in 3 cars. We took some pictures at Godavari on Chinchinada bridge. We went to beach for a couple of hours. Ladies and kids had a good time there. After that, we went to the temple at Antarvedi. It was late in the evening by the time we returned home, after picking up a couple of relatives from Sakhinetipalli village.
I spent the entire Sunday night out with friends and relatives, most of the time playing card games. I returned home at 5.30am next morning and managed an hour of sleep before I got ready for Bhogi. We lit a small campfire that morning, which is the tradition for that festive day. This is the first day of the get-together and we had a breakfast at one of the makeshift tents at the activity venue. After breakfast, Nirmala started with activities for ladies and kids. We had a 30 minute show of Gangireddu (the bull fully decorated with clothes, beads and garlands). In this show, the front legs of the heavy bull are balanced on the legs/chest of the man from the team.
Nirmala did a very good job of engaging a couple of hundred ladies and about 25 kids till lunch. About 500 people took lunch on Monday at the venue. After lunch, I spent some time with friends and relatives socializing. The socializing went on till 4.00pm. In the evening, it is food time again. This time, the numbers are similar to that of lunch. For desserts, I bought about 20 ice cream cones for kids at home. It really cooled off the tummies that are full of spicy biriyanis and chicken/lamb curries. I was so tired by 11.00pm that I slept till 6.00am next morning. Meanwhile Surya, Rohit and other kids had a nice time (even in the middle of the night) with the festive activities around.
Tuesday is a relatively low activity day in terms of people. I think the turnout would be about 400 people for breakfast and lunch. I spent most of my time distributing the directories. In the evening, we packed our bags and headed back to Hyderabad, leaving behind another one and half days of festival. It is tough to come out of such a festive atmosphere, but Spurthi and Surya have schools the next morning and we can’t help it.