Pongal, Sankranti, or Lohri... celebs in Bengaluru will celebrate the festival at their homes, courtesy the pandemic 

This harvest festival is incomplete without ellu-bella which is made of five ingredients – sesame seeds, jaggery, dried coconut pieces, roasted peanuts and fried gram dal

author_img Monika Monalisa Published :  13th January 2022 04:14 PM   |   Published :   |  13th January 2022 04:14 PM
Chakkara Pongal

Chakkara Pongal. Picture by Vinay Madapu

It’s the first festival of the year but Sankranti will be only a small affair thanks to the raging third wave. This harvest festival is incomplete without ellu-bella which is made of five ingredients – sesame seeds, jaggery, dried coconut pieces, roasted peanuts and fried gram dal. Celebs in the city are celebrating the festival with these age-old rituals this Friday and Saturday.

Radhika Narayan has a particular ‘Sankranti itinerary’ which she is going to follow this year as well. “My mother prepares both sweet and spicy pongal, while my dad does a regular pooja at home. Then we have our friends coming over with whom we share ellu bella,” says Narayan. While everyone has their favourite ingredient in the trail mix, Narayan’s pick is the dried coconut. “While I mostly go for the dried coconut, my mother has warned me to not finish the whole mix,” says Narayan, adding that she avoids sugar candies because of health reasons.

But Sonu Gowda believes it’s a festival and nibbles at the ‘sakkre achuchu’ through the day. “I usually celebrate all festivals with my family. I remember we used to gorge on the sugar candies and ellu-bella and skip the pongal. So my mother had to make sure to keep the boxes away from us so that we had some to share with guests,” says Gowda.

Actor Megha Shetty, who is currently shooting for her popular telesoap opera, Jothe Jotheyali, is going to have a busy Sankranti. “Since I will be working this Sankranti, I am going to spend  time with my team which is my second family. Of course, the pongal and ellu bella are staples without which the festival is incomplete. I will have them on  the set,” says Shetty, who is playing the character Anu Sirimane.

Though it’s a festive mood in most households, the celebration is low-key thanks to the third wave of Covid. Actor Milana Nagaraj had big plans of celebrating Sankranti by visiting her mother’s house in Mangaluru, but has dropped the idea because of the increase in the number of Covid cases.

“We usually meet people and distribute ellu-bella. And this time, I was supposed to do it with my mother but travel is not the safest thing at this point of time, so we’ve dropped the idea. We are keeping it low-key by just praying that we get back to normal soon,” says Nagaraj, adding that she is at least thankful to be celebrating the festival with her husband.

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