Everyone loves starting things afresh; it’s a very therapeutic feeling! And even if we’ve celebrated a New Year according to the Gregorian calendar a few months ago, we’re going to be just as enthusiastic about celebrating another one, based on the lunar calendar! In India, the Hindu lunar calendar begins somewhere during March-April, and is celebrated across India, although the festival’s name takes on regional variations. It is known as Navreh in Jammu & Kashmir, Baisakhi in Punjab, Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Bihu in Assam, Vishu in Kerala, Puthandu Pirappu in Tamil Nadu and Ugadi in Karnataka. In a nutshell, the entire country prepares to usher in a new year, filled with hope and prosperity!
Now any celebration requires a bit of advance planning, and it’s no different for Ugadi. Festive prep starts at least a week in advance, sometimes even before that! I find that having a checklist on hand is very helpful; it makes sure that I stick to the plan and that everything gets done. It also helps me delegate responsibilities to the husband and kids ahead of time. Getting kids involved cultivates a sense of responsibility along with teaching them about the importance of the festival. It also eases my workload! Here is what this year’s Ugadi prep checklist looks like:
1. Declutter house from head to toe (I believe getting rid of clutter makes more space for blessings to pour in!)
2. Sweep and swab entire house, including less used corners and basement
3. Deep clean the kitchen and store room (Can’t do this alone; need to hire someone)
4. Shop for new clothes for whole family (Best to do this by myself!)
5. Shop for sweets; place order for custom ones (The kids have to be included for this)
6. Arrange for mango & neem leaves as well as flowers for decorations and puja
7. Get grains and vegetables from wholesale market (this is another checklist altogether)
8. Hunt for eco-friendly colors for the rangoli (The kids have decided to take up the Rangoli this year)
As you can see, cleaning my home features among the top items on the list, because it’s that important! I can’t think of decorating a dirty, messy home for an auspicious festival like Ugadi, can you? It’s where the kids will be drawing their rangoli and where the elders will be performing important rituals, making cleanliness non-negotiable!
My kids are well aware that Mommy can get pretty obsessive when it comes to cleaning, so this year they’ve offered to help out. I’m glad they did too – it’ll give me something less to obsess about! Here are a few tasks the two of them will split among themselves:
- Clean out their toy cupboard and gather unwanted toys in a bag
- Pick up their stuff from all corners of the house
- Sort through the magazine rack and keep the outdated ones for the raddiwala
- Pull out weeds and clean out dead leaves and branches from the garden
- Change bathroom mats and table linen
- Clean mirrors and glass surfaces with glass spray
- Dust shelves and surfaces they can reach
The biggest challenges are the rooms and cupboards that aren’t frequently used. Since their insides don’t get much air, they often end up smelling musty, bedecked with cobwebs and the worst of all – filled with cockroaches! Eeeks! How I detest those nasty creatures! And it isn’t just because they’re creepy crawlies, they are pretty dangerous too. Did you know that even a single cockroach can cause food poisoning? So imagine what an army of these nasties can do! What’s worse is that they can be really sneaky and incredibly fast; have you ever tried catching one? They can hide in drains, under furniture and appliances, and as I mentioned, in dark, unused cupboards.
Well, this year I’ve resolved to make my home 100% cockroach-free and #SayNoToFoodPoisoning. And what better time to do this than during my Ugadi prep? Besides, any celebration leaves behind traces of sweets & dirty dishes and it’s no different for New Year’s. Just like pre-festival prep, every home requires some post-festive clean-up as well, with regards to the resulting clutter. It is precisely this clutter that invites not-so-welcome guests like germ-carrying cockroaches that crawl from dirty drains and contaminate food items, utensils and others, spreading food poisoning. These cockroaches could cause food contamination leading to illnesses in the home, something I can definitely do without, thank you!
So even after the festival is over, be sure to have RED HIT which has a deep reach nozzle making it easy to reach deep corners and crevices. So I don’t need to run after these impossible creatures with a slipper in my hand, I’ll simply stand elegantly and spray red HIT wherever there’s the slightest possibility that they might hide. The best part – this is totally something I can outsource to anyone, including older kids!
It’s the festive season and there’s a lot to do, so it helps to know that an important thing on my checklist is taken care of – in a jiffy and without spending a bomb! And it also gives me peace of mind to know that all the goodies that I make are completely clean and safe for my kids, for whom they’re actually meant; not for creepy crawlies!
I have a problem with cockroach infestation in my kitchen ! & have tried a lot of products. Does this Lal Hit actually work? Please help me
Amazing article! I totally agree prevention is better than cure.