Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Puja evenings and Garba nights. A hundred and eight diyas followed by countless more. Never before have I seen such an amazing mix of cultures where East meets West so beautifully, the way incense smoke dissolves in the air with the ascending dance. An absolute mismatch like the idol of Durga being taken on a camel cart reinforces the fact that different cultures can welcome each other when there is a common connecting link.

My favourite time of the year was the best this time.

I saw how it is possible to keep traditions alive… and how the passion to keep it alive and to celebrate grows when one is away from the roots. I saw that it is not necessary to believe, in order to feel part of the belief and to fall in love again with the beauty and grace of it.

Durga Puja at Navrangpura felt like home… it was just like what I grew up watching; the same idol ,the same drum beats and smoky scent, the same stalls, the same stage with little confused kids dancing while their parents prompt them….

Visarjan Night. Bid goodbye at Navrangpura and came to college for our own representation on cane. Fireworks on one side and drum beats on another. Faces coloured red with “sindoor”. I am surrounded by celebration. It’s amazing to be surrounded by the little divinity that we have created ourselves… Celebration on all sides, it’s like we are not celebrating, but it is happening and we are in the middle of it.

The “dhak” got spoilt so we couldn’t take it to the “visarjan”, but people in the slums at Sabarmati banks were playing drums and it was like Gujratis paying tribute to a Bengali ritual in their own way.

Celebration does not see you as an individual, but as a part of itself. It does not see who you are; it embraces you for being there. We can create our own divinity.

1 comment:

Neelam Prabhugaonker Shetye said...

And amidst all the sounds of the dhak and the bells and the hymns....i still feel very peaceful :) !! and it never ceases to amaze me......