Homecoming and Heritage: Actress Sai Tamhankar Celebrates Gudi Padwa in Sangli After Years

As the dawn of Gudi Padwa approaches, marking the sprouting buds of the Maharashtrian New Year, actress Sai Tamhankar readies herself for a journey that is imbued with emotion and nostalgia. After a prolonged absence of three years, she is returning to the comforting embrace of her hometown, Sangli. Her voice bears the weight of this realization, “It’s been three years since I last visited my hometown, and the realisation struck me hard when my mother mentioned it,” she reflects with a mixture of excitement and longing.

The very prospect of returning home infuses Sai with tranquility, wrapping her in serenity—a sensation she likens to peace and satisfaction. Gudi Padwa for her is not just a date on the calendar; it resonates with the start of something new, a period to renew familial ties, and revel in the tapestry of customs and ceremonies passed down through generations.

As the festival unfurls its colors, Sai anticipates more than the conventional rituals. “New Year begins with Gudi Padwa for us,” she shares, her thoughts wandering to the joyous reunions and the feasts that await her. These festive repasts, incomplete without the sweet cling of puran poli or the sugary symphony of gulab jamun, are etched deep in her gastronomic memories.

And amidst these festivities, the powerful but simple act of breaking bread with family and friends after ages takes on a celebratory note in itself, according to Sai. She eagerly looks forward to reliving cherished memories, revisiting her treasured locales, renewing bonds with college comrades, and weaving back into the fabric of her extended kin, lamenting that it was her own oversight that led to such a lengthy interval between visits.

Meanwhile, her professional journey continues to ascend as Sai gears up to feature alongside some of the industry’s most esteemed names. Audiences can expect to see her performance in ‘Ground Zero’ with Emraan Hashmi and ‘Agni’ with Pratik Gandhi. Moreover, she is set to appear in Netflix’s ‘Dabba Cartel’, acting shoulder to shoulder with the iconic Shabana Azmi and the celebrated Gajraj Rao.

Gudi Padwa, heartily known as Samvatsar Padvo, is a vibrant festival, especially dear to the state of Maharashtra. It heralds the first day of the month of Chaitra, according to the Hindu calendar, corresponding to a span between March and April in the Gregorian reckoning. This year, the festival blossoms on March 22, synchronizing with celebrations of a similar vein in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, known as Ugadi.

The name ‘Gudi Padwa’ is steeped in meanings; ‘gudi’ representing a flag or emblem linked to Lord Brahma, and ‘padwa’ symbolizing the commencement of the lunar phase. Traditions of the day include an early morning start—houses gleam post-cleansing, bodies refreshen after showers, followed by devotional prayers. Homesteads don colorful guises with intricate rangolis and Gudis—a festooned bamboo stick, draped with a vibrant silk scarf, adorned with flowers, and mango and neem leaves, topped with a hanging Saakhar gaathi (sugar candy garland) to manifest luck and prosperity. Atop this vibrant assemblage, an inverted kalash stands signifying triumph after the puja, an emblem of victory believed to dispel malign forces and attract auspiciousness.

As Sai Tamhankar journeys home to imbibe the essence of Gudi Padwa this 2024, she cocoons herself in the legacy of a time-honored celebration profound with the joys of homecoming, heritage, and the sweetness of shared traditions.

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