Sree Rama Navami is the birthday of Lord Rama and the culmination of Vasanta Navaratri Utsavam that begins with Ugadi. The 9 days leading up to Rama Navami are filled with visits to temples, kutcheris, and various religious activities.
Sree Rama Navami is very close to my heart because the earliest music I remember hearing is Dr. Magalampalli Balamurali Krishna‘s Bhadrachala Ramadasu Kirtanalu. I was fascinated by the depth of emotion these simple kritis conveyed and they were among the first songs I ever learnt to sing. Amma followed this up by telling me the story of Bhakta Ramadasu and taking me to the Golconda Fort to see where Bhakta Ramadasu was imprisoned.
The first dance-drama I ever participated in was based on the Ramadasu kriti Ikshvaku-kula Tilaka and I was Lord Rama in that. In the immediate next item, I was one of many dancing to the song Sayonara! Sayonara! from Love in Tokyo. I made a seemingly effortless transition from Lord Rama to a Japanese Belle!
Panakam is very easy to make and has great cooling effect on the body. As a result, you will find Panakam being served at various occasions throughout the summer as a refreshing cooling drink.
How to Make Panakam
- Water – 3 Cups
- Grated Jaggery – 1/2 Cup
- Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Sonti/Chukku/Dry Ginger Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Dissolve jaggery in water.
- Strain the liquid.
- Add pepper, cardamom, and dry ginger powder to the jaggery water.
- Mix well.
- Serve Panakam at room temperature or cold.
You can add 1 tsp lemon juice as well.