Ugadi is actually “Yugadi”, where Yug means era and “adi” meaning beginning. So, it is celebrated as a beginning of a new era or new year. A new year as such is of no importance to us. Only when we resolve to use it for a change for our own betterment, will itmake a difference to us. When we enter a new year, it denotes that like we leave the old calendar behind, we should leave our old habits behind and adapt to a newer and fresher version of our own self.

In this festivalthe pachadi is a notable festive food. It combines the 6 tastes symbolising 6 emotions of ours. It is a mix of – neem buds, jaggery, green chilli, salt, tamarind and unripe mango. Each standing for what we have deemed to represent our bad episodes, our happy moments, situations that trigger jealousy, anger, acceptance or fun in us.This teaches us that we are an equal mix of positives and negatives. And like we can vary the quantity of ingredients as per our choice in pachadi, we can increase our positives in us out of freewill to become a more positive person.

Pachadi from different homes will taste different and are incomparable. Meaning,equations in every relationship is different. For family the measure of jaggery or sweetness should be highest, whereas a good friendship should carry the flavour of tangiest of mangoes.

Again, some homes prefer sourness of tamarind, while some might like it more spicy, which brings them to alterthe actual recipe. Thisteaches us to alter our attitude while giving people happiness in the way people want to and not like we would want to.

In the Telugu and Kannada Hindu traditions, it is a symbolic reminder that one must expect all flavours of experiences in the coming new year and make the most of them. It signifies that when a situation seems bitter from one perspective, it potentially has other sweet ortangy perspectives. And we will be able to enjoy them only if we try to shift our perspective. Just as different flavours are bound together, same way a sad experience will always have a happy or funny side to itself.

Festivals (with mythological backing) remind us to refresh our life by doing something that we don’t do on daily basis. We do something different to make festivals stand out from the rest of the days of the month or year. Similarly, for change to stand out in us, we must attempt to do something very different in our behavior. The change should be such that it brings smiles on everyone’s face, making everyday a festival.

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