Rama Navami with a twist

I am pretty punctilious about observing the myriad festivals that dot the Hindu calendar....

But between Kardiya Nombu (14th March) and Puthu Varsha Pirappu (14th April), I inevitably skip over Rama Navami.

This leaves me feeling a bit guilty, a bit nostalgic and wondering if there is something in my psyche that wants me to forget the existence of this Lord or his birthday.  The guilt and nostalgia is all thanks to my mom - she was a great devotee of Rama and read Ram Charit Manas , well religiously.  How else would you read a religious book?!

I don't get why Rama gets so much traction. He lead a mostly miserable life - banished to the forest in the Prime of youth, then loses his wife to Ravana; instead of overturning heaven and earth to find her, he mostly sits around moping while Hanuman does the hard work - after advance payment only, b.t.w. ;Sugreeva is established as king before Hanuman starts his search!  And remember Bharata, the brother who rules in the north on his behalf with his slippers on the throne?  It never occurs to him to reach out to Bharata with his huge army for help?!  He should have sent Hanuman overnight much like the frequently touted ABT ;)  It is nonsensical to delay the search party even beyond the days he spends helplessly meandering through the forest, love sick at the sight of the bees and the birds, just to have Sugreeva challenge Vali and then finally kill him from behind when he is engaged in a fight with Sugreeva, which must be against all principles of good Kshatriya behaviour!

And laughably, when Ravana loses all his weapons and stands before him he apparently said "Indru Poi Naalai Vaa", or the equivalent in Sanskrit which basically means we shall continue the war tomorrow! Why the double standards? His victory over Ravana had to be above reproach, a bit like Caesar's Wife? Why is bringing them R and L back from the jaws of death with Sanjeevni, an alternative available to no one else in either army fair?

And why is it always Ram Navami? Why not Bharatha, Lakshmana and perhaps Shatrughan? Did you know Guhan takes one look at Bharatha and the fervour with which he is trying to reach Rama and give the throne back to him, he said you are equivalent to a 1000 Rama's?  Your forefathers, including the great Shibi Chakravarthy are lamps and you are the refulgent sun!

Anyways, I remembered it was Rama Navami at 9:20, after lunch and breakfast were ready. I didn't have anything - Ginger, Musk Melon, Cucumber... So instead of making the traditional Neer More and Paanakam, I made a Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cake.

Recipe follows.


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