There was a beautiful village in India, where a huge fair was held on the banks of the Ganges during Makar Sankranti. There was hardly any villager who did not come to the fair. On that day all the people of the surrounding villages used to gather on the banks of the Ganges.
Makar Sankranti holds great significance for Hindus in India. This festival is considered auspicious for worship and charity. Makar Sankranti is dedicated to Lord Surya. This festival is considered to be the most auspicious occasion. It marks the beginning of the harvest season. On this day people worship new crops and share them with joy.
Like every year, Nandu’s family was also preparing to bathe in the Ganges on Makar Sankranti. All Nandu’s elder brothers had gone to the city to study, so only Nandu was doing all the preparations along with his mother. Nandu’s two sisters were younger, so Nandu had to bear all the responsibilities of the house.
For bathing in the Ganges, everyone used to take their clothes, sesame seeds, jaggery, khichdi, blankets etc. along with them. The donation has special significance in Makar Sankranti. That’s why Nandu’s father used to take him to the banks of the Ganges to donate blankets to the poor.
It used to be so late in bathing, worshipping and donating the Ganges that everyone used to get hungry, so the women used to carry all the ingredients for cooking khichdi. She used to bring all the items for making stoves, utensils and khichdi from home. So there used to be a lot of stuff to take to the fair.
Khichdi was cooked on the banks of the Ganges and all the family members ate khichdi with papad, curd and pickle. And along with khichdi, laddoos of millet, lye and jaggery powder were also enjoyed which he brought with him.
Later, all of them used to roam the entire fair and meet the nearby villagers and return home by evening.
On the day of Makar Sankranti, Nandu’s family woke up early and completed all the preparations as soon as possible. Then he kept all the goods in the bullock cart. It used to take an hour to reach the banks of the Ganges from home.
Many people from the village were going together. People were in a happy mood. Nandu was walking on the way holding the hands of his two younger sisters.
Reaching the banks of the Ganges, an empty place was found and all of them together laid a sheet and kept the things they had brought together. It was decided that the father would go to the bath first. After bathing in the Ganges and offering prayers, he had to do charity. Till then Nandu’s mother will make all the arrangements for the food. When the father came out of the river after taking a bath, he asked Nandu to bring his clothes. Nandu went running to get his father’s clothes. And started looking in all the bags. After a lot of searching, no clothes were found in any of the bags. Then Nandu asked his mother,
“What bag did Dad bring his clothes in?”
“You must have kept, I don’t know,” replied the mother.
“I don’t even know about that bag because I had packed everything else. I didn’t see any bag kept.
A very cold wind was blowing on the banks of the Ganges. The father, who was waiting for his clothes, was feeling very cold. He shouted to Nandu to bring the clothes soon.
Now everyone was wondering what to do. it was chilly cold. The cold wind was making the weather colder.
An idea struck in nandu’s mind. He said to his mother,
“Mother, please take out one pair of dhoti and blanket from the bundle that we have brought for charity. And give the same to father. Otherwise, he will get cold.”
“But this blanket is to be donated,” said the mother inconsolably.
“Dad needs it the most at this time,” said nandu.
“I will buy more blankets to donate later.”
When he took the blanket and dhoti to his father, he was much surprised, he said,
“We have brought this to give to charity.”
Not being frightened by the fear of scolding, Nandu told the whole incident clearly to the father.
Hearing the whole thing, the father laughed out loud and said,
“You have done the donation ritual, Nandu.”
Seeing such a reaction from his father, Nandu came to life and he regretted his mistake.
It is a great quality to laugh and forgive someone who has made an unintentional mistake. By doing this, sweetness increases in the relationship.
That was the most memorable Makar Sankranti day for Nandu. After enjoying the whole day at the bank of the river Ganges, Nandu left for home with his family.