Hi All! In case you were wondering if I have really gone into hibernation, here I am :-) I've just migrated to warmer climes (read parents' house :)) on maternity leave... Winding up work, preparing the house for my long absence, last minute check-ups and packing had taken a lot of time and energy but this entire phase is just so beautiful and I'm enjoying every moment of it.
Valaikaappu/ Seemandham/ Godh Bharai is usually held in the 7th or 9th month in our custom.We had opted to have it in the ninth month since travelling to and fro often was simply not possible what with the distance and preparation involved. Also, I preferred to work as long as possible and save up my leave for after the Little One's arrival. And most airlines allow travel only till the end of 32nd week, that too with the doctor's certification and a detailed undertaking that no claims shall be made on them in case of any eventuality happening in the course of the travel! So, ninth month it is :-)
On the day of valaikaappu, the mother-to-be is dressed up beautifully and adorned with sandal, kumkum and flowers. Female relatives perform nalangu (like tilak), aarti and make her wear colourful bangles and give her gifts. In return, they are given bangles and return gifts too. Also, a feast of traditional rice dishes and sweets follows. We had a great time preparing for the event and I planned to make the return gifts myself to make things special and different. Well, it was back-breaking since we expected around 100 guests and so I had to make 100 items but it was a lot of fun too. I managed to finish just in time before the function and so pics had to be taken hurriedly with my mobile. And just while uploading, I realised I have left out clicking a set of keychains that I made!
Here are some pics of bookmarks:
And here are some of the earrings I made.. They were a huge hit!
I had made four types of earrings : bead earrings, quilled paper earrings, polymer clay earrings and foam earrings. The quilled ones took the longest time since they had to be made, coated and left to dry before adding the findings. And beaded ones were the most handy and quick to make! Here is a look of a major portion of the entire set:
Oops, the pic quality is very bad! And how I wish I had remembered to click the quilled keychains too :-(
But overall, it was so satisfying when friends and relatives vied to pick out the piece they liked most. And a couple of them wore them then and there :) Also, one of my nephews loved the bookmarks! Well, it was worth all the effort.
And not only the gifts, I had a great time doing up my mehendi too :
How do you like it??