I am so happy that this is the third year in a row I am blogging about my Navaratri Golu.
This year as I mentioned in my previous blog, my theme is to showcase where we are from . We come from the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu rich in culture and traditions and with beautiful landscapes. The Sangam period in Tamil Literature, which quotes the period from 6th Century BCE to 3rd century CE shows the landscape divided into five sections.
Kurunji- The mountains
Mullai- The Forests
Neidhal-Land close to the seashore
Marudham- The fields
Paalai- Dessert .
It was interesting to note that there weren’t any dessert and that the Mullai and the marudham lands turned into desserts. This information was new to me.
We used the above information to create an area showing Tamil Nadu is Beautiful with four of the five landscapes. The main deity of Tamil people is Lord Muruga who resides usually in mountains but one seashore Temple in Thiruchendur is a beauty and interesting fact, Lord Muruga is the main deity there too. Thanjavur, the rice belt of Tamilnadu is also depicted. Thanjavur Temple built by Rajaraja Chola during 10th Century AD has one of the biggest Shiva Lingas has also been depicted. Elephants of Mudumalai forest/mountain region are also one part of this landscape.
The main five step features Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi the Goddess of Strength, wealth and education. The rest of my settings include stories from Ramayana and Bhagavadam. We also have lot of collectibles from the places we visited. We also have fall scenario in the US and a Christmas village.
My special one made six 300 piece puzzles throughout the year, along with painting and crafts that would become the background scenes. Two small steps exclusively were created to showcase of his dolls that he had painted and we even have some lego dolls which he made for the first time. He is 25 years old and yes he learnt a new skill. The farmers places in the field were made with wooden peg dolls. I helped my son paint them and stick eyes onto them. It was fun to glue some hair on them too. We have not become professional artists but the online classes did definitely help us☺️.
I don’t want to write anymore. Watch my youtube link and enjoy the work I did along with my special one. If you do like it, why not drop a comment below it would be motivating for the next year Golu🙂🙏.
As I start sending out my invites for my Golu next week, people have started asking what is the theme for my Golu this year?
My special one has worked on a lot of things this year and just like last year I wanted to incorporate in my exhibit. But this year I want to highlight or make his work predominant. I had lot of plans for a theme but I decided I should work around his craft work. Some work are simple and some are complicated ones. So that did definitely leave me in a lot of confusion.
Finally things are settling. Though I did know what topic goes along with his work , I finally know how to exhibit properly, so both his work and the topic I chose gets integrated. I still need him to do a couple of things as fillers and yes, I have the most cooperative boy on this planet. I would call him my genie.
I am learning Bhaja Govindam, the famous hymn by Adi Shankara. (that is not the theme)😊. In that he asks people to let go of the worldly pleasures and to merge with Brahman. With autism I did the opposite with my boy. He was in his own world and I had to bring him back to the pleasures of the world. I basically reverse engineered him. Same way I chose a craft work and then chose the topic or the theme for my Golu.
Nowadays themes are sophisticated. People talk about climate change, pollution and saving the world. My theme this year is simple. As I had mentioned in my previous blog lot of return gifts (check out the link) are made by my son’s special friends. So they all have been invited this year. So I am just explaining in my Golu from where my boy or their Ani is from. I am really happy that I am able to showcase that.
The next few days are going to be busy and I think my next blog will be featuring my Golu. See you then.
We tend to carry a lot of baggages. Our everyday one is in itself so heavy. To be able to work on that we need to let go of some heavy ones like the past and the future. A nice illustration I saw on facebook.
Weekend was great for my boy. We went to a Diwali Mela. We went for food, but there was song and dance and it was a very casual atmosphere. There was so much of food my boy didn’t even eat much. He just enjoyed Bollywood music and dance. I would say he lived in the present and had his happiness.
The mela had lot of Indian clothes on sale. Boy! I am a dinosaur when it comes to Indian clothes. I did get a saree or two in the past few years but not any readymade clothes. They do cost a fortune. I am not big time into clothes already and the pandemic did pull down my interest. My boys at home are not interested in clothes. I can safely say whatever we are saving on clothes definitely gets spent on food😂.
Other than that I gave a two minute speech in Tamil, for British Indian Tamil Radio for the upcoming Navarathri Festival and the competition on Saturday . I had sent the recording last month and it was a great joy to hear the DJ say my name followed by my speech . Greatest two minute present pleasure.
It is a rainy morning here. The weather man said we need that rain so taking that too in a positive way. Letting go of a lot of burden today and being positive😊.
I have started my Navarathri set up in my home. This is not easy every year since my son is obsessed with things being in the same place. He is not a neat freak. He has his own arrangement and that cannot change. Yesterday with huge effort my husband with my helped moved a table. Within few minutes, we came to the room and saw the table being moved back into the same place. Thinking about it makes me laugh now, but my husband has sciatica issues and I am not a strong person so we both were upset we needed to move it back again. My husband argued with me why that table need to be moved and that I should work around it. Today morning, I moved another table or I would say I added a table to the room. But this time, I saw to it that my son was there to help me. He was very very reluctant to bring the table from storage. But he saw this was an adamant Mom and he left the room later.
It has been years since we have started training him and involving him during Navarathri. People keep using OCD in their every day conversation casually in a fun mode. But in my house OCD is a major component. There are days I cannot win OCD just like I did today. It takes over our life. Obsessive Compulsiveness is a disease just like any other. Medications help you a bit. We need lot of therapy and that is really lot of hard work. It is definitely exhausting.
It is not OCD Awareness month or day or time , but it is a day for me since I really want to make lot of changes in my home which seems to be a struggle. Something that people do it casually is really an exhausting task. Writing or blogging it gives me an outlet so I did.
I do not shop at the garden center during fall. I am not confident about planting bulbs for the spring. But I did do some window shopping and found these beautiful lilies. My plant identification app called this Orange Lily and it seems it represents confidence, pride and wealth.
I will take bath in the ocean when the waves stop. This is a common saying in my language when we do not do something or keep postponing or not attend to a current matter in hand.
In our brains we are perfectionists. We need a perfect situation to execute something and that needs to be perfect but that never happens.
My special one can play the keyboard but to my voice prompt. Many many moons back I had made him play at our Temple during Navarathri festival. Then perfectionist attitude in me set in. Even though the priest said I could bring him and make him play anytime on a weekday I became hesitant. I wanted him to be perfect before his performance. Years have rolled , he is still dependent on my voice prompt. He also has not learnt many new songs so I was hesitant though we did practice ,cooking took priority over music.
But this year when I saw the invitation for the program I filled up the google form and submitted his name. Ha Ha, what made me do it? I have no idea 🤷♀️!!!
Yes, the waves are not going to stop for a perfect time but we have started practicing twice a day. We have come up with 4 small songs and if he can execute it all anyway I am fine. If he has trouble that day, Nah I am not going to be negative or pessimistic I believe in the power of Lord Venkateswara of Pittsburgh temple. It is going to be great.
So stay tuned September 26th first day of Navarathri my boy will be performing during Sayanotsavam. If I say I am excited I would be lying. I am nervous since the simple task of transporting his keyboard to the temple can bring a meltdown . But we have started talking about it and so as I said the rest is upto the Lord.🙏
I have to accept I am a clumsy person who falls and gets bandaged. My first memory being, when I was four, I fractured my hand, followed by a sprain to the same hand, again stitches on my skull for a fall and even a ligament surgery twenty years ago. Ouch seems like a lot! Maybe I have two left feet!’
I noticed I have been writing everyday since September 1st. As I was thinking what to write, I decided I am going to skip today since my day was going to be busy. My son had his program and I had to go with him.
It was sensory day at his program. One of the fun things we did and in the process learnt what oobleck was. Apple sauce and cornstarch are mixed along with a dash of cinnamon to get a gooey mix. So how was the gooey mix? It was solid sometimes and sometimes it became liquid. We were all a mess by the time it was finished but my sensory seeking son participated in the activity and we bought it back in a plastic bag home so he can play more.
I learnt it got it’s name from Dr. Seuss book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. I think we will read the book sometime together since I am curious now about it.
I always love when sensory integration is added to any program. It helps those kids who are sensory seeking and also expose every sense to those who are avoiding it. I feel any kind of sensory activity is good for neurotypical people since it relaxes your brain when you are tensed. So yes, it was fun for me too. (was I tensed today? We humans are tensed all the time thinking about something 😀😀)
By the way, my son thought the mixture was food and kept tasting it. It took him a while to understand that it was just a play dough and nothing more. By the way it is harmless.
Do you want to know more? Here are the instructions.