Navarathri 2009 was amazing. I celebrated it with utmost devotion and dedication. Before the golu scenario let me explain the prologue of the festival. Mylapore is the first place I love on this earth. Me, my neighbor and my mother-in-law went to the mylapore mada veedhi and got dasavatharam bommai set, kamadhenu set and materials for park decorations. My god the dolls were exorbitant, I have never got into all these. I felt multifarious, never mind we had fun.

The golu started on Monday, apparently on Saturday and Sunday I had to embellish our house with grand materials. On Saturday I cleaned the house and did felicitous decorations applicable to my house. On the auspicious Sunday I did the main golu work.

Firstly I started with a fancy work. I had cut newspapers into small pieces and rolled it to thick cylinders, pasted it on a chart and gave shades of the orange family colors on one and green family colors on the other and finally did a face over it. I pasted this at the apex of golu which meant the two faces were seeing the golu with a great startle.
Secondly I painted the ahals, I had 7 big ahals and 7 small ahals, I painted different designs, shades and gradations on it.
Thirdly I started with the park. This was the stupendous part. I had all toys and grass fields so I just laid sand all over the park area and decorated it with black stones on the borders and filled the grass fields on the four sides and enhanced it with the toys. When I started this park the hindi class banged my mind. That was a scrumptious place which resembled my golu park. Every evening I go to my hindi class, outside the class there was a park where many children play, elders go for walking etc. I wanted it like that and finally my park came out kindred to the hindi class park.
Fourthly I started with the thirupathi malai with mahesh. I did hard work, had to get the sand from 2 streets ahead, had to get stones, did some handicrafts etc.

On the Sunday night the house looked so wondrous. I felt so splendid. To beautify the golu, I decided to keep my paintings beside it.

My mom had come that day to give the navarathri seer, she was jubilant to see my handicrafts. She didn't have the heart to go, she has been always interested in all these, she appreciated my works, in fact she was wholly responsible for my involvement in the golu celebration, she encouraged me in each n everything. My parents-in-law and my hubby felt so happy to see my fascination as they are conventional they like all these celebrations.

Last but not the least I started with the main golu work, the golu stand was fitted by our workman, and then I had put two white clothes on the stand. Before I could start decorations and arrangements, the kumbham or the ceremonial jar for holy water, which is a conical vessel, is filled with fresh water. A silk cloth covers the mouth of the vessel, a coconut and mango leaves are placed on top of it. This is generally placed in the first or the third step.

“Navarathri” is a composite festival celebrated all over India, depending on the New Moon (Amavasya - dark moon night). The essence of this festival consists of fasts and worship the different aspects of “Mahalakshmi thayar” on each of the nine days. Navarathri is known as the “Festival of Nights” honoring the goddesses.

On the first step I placed my favorite srinivasar, thayar and andal with gajalakshmi on both
sides. On the back of them I placed goddess saraswati, mahalakshmi, vinayagar and gayathri.
On the second step I positioned the dasavatharam and ramar set (ramar, lakshmanar, sita and anchaneyar) with few other small dolls.
On the third step I organized the kamadhenu set, sriman narayanar, vaikundanadhaperumal set and the beautiful kids with the phone, this is such an old piece.
On the fourth step I placed the hayagrivar, the kanakadhara set, the bride and the bridegroom, raghavendrar and kutty krishnar.
On the fifth step I arranged the krishnar and gopikas around him, the gypsies set, the parrot set and bharathiyar.
I can’t tell this as the sixth step as we r supposed to keep the steps in odd numbers. So I just kept two decorative steps. On this I arranged the chettiyar and chettichi set and on the other
side, I aligned the decorative ahals.

Now the golu is ready. My mother-in-law lit the lamp in front of the golu. Manoj decorated the hall with different lights. The house appeared so splendorous.

Any festival gets its consummation only when hearts are bound together, yes I meant the people. So I started to greet them. To commence with I invited my neighbors, then my area mates and finally my friends and relatives who reside in Chennai. Everyone came with utmost pleasure and bustle and made us complacent. On all the ten days our house was brimmed with people. I also had a nice time in visiting my favorite ones home. I gifted all the people who came home.I decided to gift according to the age, so I bestowed boxes for the elders and small toys for the kidos. I had unexpected visits of my amative ones too.

Navrathri is not only famous for dolls but its also famous for the delicious"sundal". Different varieties of sundals was prepared on each day. When I recollect those days I can still feel the taste hitting my tongue. Kids had a healthy competition to win the sundals. We were amazed to see their unique talents so we distributed the sundals to them after offering(kandarulludhal) it to the god.

Ayudha Puja is an integral part of the Navaratri festival (festival of triumph) which is celebrated in India. It is also called "Astra Puja", the synonym for Ayudha Puja. In simple terms, it means “Worship of Implements”.

It is said that on Vijayadashami day Arjuna, third of the five Pandava brothers, retrieved his weapons of war from the hole in the Shami tree where he had hid it before proceeding on the forced exile. After completing his exile period of 13 years including one year of Agyatavas (living incognito) before embarking on the war path against the Kauravas he retrieved his weapons. In the Kurukshetra war that ensued, Arjuna was victorious. Pandavas returned on Vijayadashami day and since then this day gained more importance.

The tools and all implements of vocation were first cleaned. All the tools, machines, vehicles and other devices were then painted or well polished after which they were smeared with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste in form of a pottu(a big circle) and kumkum. We were transformed to a human train in the morning, my father-in-law carried the karpooram, ,manoj had the sandhanam and I took the kumkum. We went around the house to keep pottu on our valuable things. On the morning of the puja that is on the navami day, the implements were all worshiped along with the images of Saraswati. Books and musical instruments were also placed on the pedestal for worship and they were decorated with flowers. On the day of the puja, these were not to be disturbed. The day was spent in worship and contemplation. When I was a kid my brother Kannan and I used to keep all our books in the pooja so that we avoided studies the whole day.

After these nine days comes the “Dashami”, the tenth day, which has its own importance “Vijaya Dashami (the day of victory). This is the day “Lord Rama had killed Ravana” , which signifies the victory of good over evil. “Vaishnavas”generally celebrate “Vijay Dashami” with great signification. It is auspicious to start any work today. Kidos join school, music class etc. This day reminds my childhood days. I used to join carnatic music class, tuition classes etc......... lovely days, am glad that it didn't end with my childhood days, it continued this year too, I had joined embroidery class which went on very well.

The momentous festival had an exhilarated end. I had amusement on all the ten days. Enjoyed every bit of the golu to the core. Hope every year turns out to be the festival like navarathri 2009.

Note: This article starts and ends with Navarathri 2009.