People of Pune gear up to welcome good times and ward off evil on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
Strike or no strike,Puneites are in the mood to celebrate and welcome the New Year on Gudi Padwa. It is the dawn of the New Year according to our calender so we buy something new to celebrate the occasion and put up gudis (victory flags) at home to ward off evil and bring good luck and prosperity into our homes, says Sunita Tupe,a city-based homemaker. According to Hindu mythology,the festival is dedicated to Lord Brahma and the special flags are put up in his honour. Tupe says that the gudi is generally made at home by tying a flag and a string of batasha (sugar sweets used in puja) to a stick,capping it with a copper pot and then fastening it on a window or door. She explains that as the legend goes,gudi was the victory flag for citizens of Ayodhya after Ram defeated King Bali.
The festival also marks the success of the Maratha forces,led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,who fought the Mughals. Thus,gudi also used to signify the bravery of the Maratha soldiers when they returned home after successfully defeating the Mughal forces.
Nowadays we get readymade miniature gudis which people hang in their cars and workstations. Many sweetmeats are also prepared at home such as meethi rotis,kaju katlis,puran polis and more, says Ranjini Kothalkar.
Apart from Maharashtrians,the day is considered auspicious for Sindhis as well as Kashmiris as they too bring in the New Year on this day. While Chedi Chand is celebrated by Sindhis worldwide,Kashmiris celebrate Navreh with much fervor.