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Pongal Naal-vazhthukkal

The four days of Pongal by Abhirami Rao


The fires are lit with intention.

With a feast in preparation and

the aroma of tumeric in the air,


an ode to abundance harmonizes

into a letter of gratitude: 


We pray with thanks to the rains,

that quench the thirst of the land 

and the denizens of the fields.


May this Bhogi be the guest

whose visit bears one joy, 

the warmth of abundance, 

and a farewell for their sorrows.



Thai Pongal


Stir a little more, 

It begins to bubble and 

dance its way to the surface.


All around excitement bubbles.

As it boils over, cheers ensue,



May time and fortune bless one 

as the Pongal boils over;

A flourish of sweetness and 

fulfillment on one's plate.



Maatu Pongal

Refocus to the companion of harvests, 

decked with flower garlands,

colourful beads and tinkling bells,

today's the day for our fellow beings.



Kanu Pongal

Sunlight filters through 

a January morning,

sparrows sit beside the window

and chirp their chords. 

let this day be spent with family, 

and well wishes for our siblings;

may we hum a collective spirit for

one another as a ubiquity of kuruvis.



Abhirami Rao is a writer and performer who finds comfort in pretty verses, chai, and all things queer.

Photographs by Padma Murughappun (1 and 4), Abhirami Rao (2)

Collective Ideation by The Desk and Abhirami Rao, Advaith Jaikumar, Keerthana Senthil Kumar, Madappa PS, Padma Murughappun.

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