That’s Puthucode Navarathri for us!!!

I just have no idea what really prompted me to draft this post at this time of the year ‘coz i have been saving this one to be posted at the time of Navratri this year. Well, I guess, may be standing witness to a “Shingari Melam”  last night in Mylapore might have pulled the trigger off….

    Having been born in Puthucode in Kerala and with my close family members still living there, I can never be ashamed to say that we celebrate Navratri in the best way!!!! It is definitely a spectacle to watch atleast once in everybody’s lifetime and I am honored and humbled that I get to be a part of it every single year.

    For Starters, Puthucode is a sleepy lil place off the NH 47 . It is midway between Palakkad and Trissur. A major chunk of Puthucode is basically around the Annapoorneswari Temple and the Shiva Temple. 4 villages  (a.k.a Agraharams), 1 for each direction ( North, South, East and West) and 1 lil market place called Anjumuri. This is kinda the essence of the Puthucode that i know. 🙂
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    The run-up to the festivities starting from Day One till the Vijayadashami day ( Day Ten) , planning for Navaratri every year(a Herculean task) starts months before the actual dates. Inviting donations, making arrangements for everything from scratch.. the Arches, Elephants, Decorations for elephants, Floral decorations, Food and Stay arrangements etc.

    Navratri starts off with the Ceremonial “kodiyettam” in the temple.The divine flag of Devi is hoisted in the Golden “Kodimaram” ( Flag mast) on the Mahalya Amavasya day after Sunset.And there it goes, its nine full days worth of celebrations due!

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    From the next day onwards, its made sure that the poojas in the temple are done to the dot with every minute detail taken care of. Each of the four villages are given two days each. In these two days , all the poojas, decorations, sadhya ( the feast) and other decors are the responsibilities of those assigned villages.

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    Its apt to say that  every village takes these days  very seriously and do the best that they can to exhibit the grandeur of the festival. It is literally a competition between the villages and the villagers,to be honest.They provide accommodation to anybody who wishes to stay there during the festival and offer food too.

    Every village is decorated with an arch with lighting since Day One. During the Big Vilakku Days, i.e., the sixth, seventh,eighth and the ninth days, elephants are brought from various places and adorned with all possible Chamayam and paraded through the length of the streets.

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    The temple decoration is the best during these days and its totally worth it even if we get to stand in long,winding queues to get the blissful darshan of the Divine Mother. Its just beautiful to see The Mother always smiling during all of these 10 days. There will be very little sight of bare temple walls during these days as flowers and lighted lamps adorn the temple completely.

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    A typical vilakku day starts with the Devi Aarattu early in the morning and proceeds with the Ezhunnalath. The tallest elephant in the group is blessed with the Thedambu ( An ensemble with the idol of the Divine Mother) and paraded through the village along with other elephants and the panchavadyam and melam.

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    Come the lunch hour and its guaranteed mammoth line in front of the Agrashaala. The Pulingari( A gravy of pumpkin, jaggery and a variety of spices and coconut) of Puthucode is very famous and people from everywhere  wait to have a morsel of rice mixed with pulingari.A simple lunch is complemented with the best of the Payasams make it an unforgettable feast one might ever have had in their lives.

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    Evening again the festivities resume with the Ezhunnalath and the usual fare of Panchavadyam and Melam with the best of Artistes in their respective genres leading the group. No wonder they say Music is Bliss.  

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    On the tenth day,the Araattu day, it is symbolically a day for all the villages to sign a peace treaty and putting  an end to the self proclaimed competition and gather in the temple premises to witness the Lowering of the flag ceremony thus officially putting an end to the nine day long festivities . This day also means that we get back to our boring monotonous lives back in the cities.

    Puthucode Navaratri has many many lovely and charming legends and faces and one has to be present in person in the midst of all these to truly understand and appreciate the awesomeness of it. So, do make it a point to be there at least once in lifetime …coz after that it might be a regular and inevitable affair for you to be a part of it.     

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Industrial Training- Yaaay!!! :) or Nay !! :(

A casual chat with my old office mate reveals that many articled students these days are evaluating the idea of Industrial training . Being an Industrial Trainee myself and also after having shared my experiences of being a trainee, let me put those points that i have shared and felt during my stint.

    Industrial Training is a boon to those who prefer to go for Employment than Practice, after their CA course. It gives an insider’s view on the Corporate culture and puts us in various situations which we may hardly encounter during our Articleship period.

Pros :

1. A new learning angle:

learning angle

I am not saying that training as an Articled Assistant is limited in Scope but am emphasising that Industrial Training provides a new angle through which we perceive things. The period of Articleship encourages us to find the mistakes that might have crept into the data given to us and expects us to suggest the way to rectify those while being a trainee we are expected to avoid those mistakes in the first place. Moreover, we get to see how things work from the scratch, rather than sit with the Financials and pore over them.

    2. Fixed timings:

fixed timing

Most of the Corporates still treat us as students and trainees which is in great contrast
to a lot of CA firms that expect us to be equipped and slog like Qualified Professionals. This actually works in favour of the students because as students, we need ample time to cope up with our studies and read and revise our portions for the class next day.

    3. Respect:

respect

This point I tell you from my personal experience. Colleagues in the Company where we do our Industrial Training actually respects us for the effort that we put to gain those two coveted alphabets “CA” attached to our names.During my stint as an Articled Assistant, rarely have I come across a Senior at work respecting me as an equal. This has a major role in our Mental well-being, mind you!

4. Encouragement to be creative :

creativity

In my company where I do my training, I am encouraged to suggest new ideas to improve the existing systems and am given the complete freedom to get the task assigned to be done by the deadline.Moreover, most of the higher officials in the Corporate world praise and appreciate you for even the smallest thing that you have done to perfection. This gives a moral boost to our minds and reflects in our work.

    5. Brand name:

brand

This is very important and inevitable for people who do their articleships in Mid-size to small firms. The one year stint in a Corporate not only gives an experience but also adds value to the CV and gives a brand tag to it. This could be of great value in the later period of our lives.

6. Higher pay:

higher pay

Though this aspect has much lower precedence than the others, this also remains an attractive
attribute for pursuing Industrial Training. Companies pay you far higher than the CA firms.

7. Preference for permanent job:

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Though this isn’t an assured point in our favour, it will give us a lil relief that most companies give first preference to those who have done their training with them. This saves them the costs of recruiting and training the new joinee.

Cons :

1. Exam preparation leave:

exam

Ummm…This obviously is a tricky part for most of the students opting for Industrial Training. But I have to add that, most companies do understand our situation and give us a maximum of three months leave which is the same as most CA Firms.I would suggest you make your expectations clear with the person interviewing you and also with the HR department of the Company. You could even suggest the extension of your term of training in case they are particular that your period of service should be minimum of 12 months.

 

Clearly Industrial Training is a better option than Articleship for those who aspire to take up Corporate jobs post qualification.Also, who wouldn’t like a change from the normal ?? So, my friends, just take ur time and make a wise decision!!! 🙂