The Festivals Palimpsest
The arrival of festivals in the helm of our mundane living is like a blushed green avocado being slithered from its hard covering. Yes, we are so fraught and blotched up by our ritualistic bonhomie that we have started creating our own sanctuary during the festivity bloom. Festivals are the same, well-occupied by their relevance but what has changed is our dereliction to make it feel pompous and celebratory. Our subservience to them is less because of religious propriety but more because of our need to feel ebullient and pampered. We have poured in the sublime essence of their relevance an obfuscated ideological shift of our priorities eventually seeing a palimpsest of its distinctiveness.
Currently, we all are moist with the sacred dews of Navratras and the ceremonious nine days of fasting, pomp and pageantry. Half of the people might be unknown to the importance of fasting during these days but it comes as a pleasant gust ofwind to the earthly freckles of ennui and discontentment. We look forward to a smorgasbord of Navratra food in restaurants forgetting that we are fasting. But, who said it was about fasting anyway? Are we just not enjoying the break from the habitual home cooked food? Our eyes fixed on the scrumptious food platter being hogged by our immediate neighbor, well ensconced in the adjoining table, scurries us to get one for ourselves. We don’t want to lose the staccato of being dressed up and visiting temples which is not a regular feature for most of us, and thereby anescape torch before we again start mishandling the fulcrums of life.
The festival of Karvachauth (where wife keeps fast for her husband’s long life) too has added idiosyncratic shifts in its belongingness. It is always meant to be a festival of a staunch resolute to fast till the moon shows up its face, adorn the best of Indian attires to feel the emollient eyes of the husband, combing the pujathali circumscribed around mannequins of cosmetic plastered women and finally retreating to a lavish meal at night. But, it now seems a bit altered to suit the convenience of the women folk. Eating fruits at intervals because of any unhealthy gut, sipping tea and juices after the closure of puja seems obnoxious and irrelevant tet-a-tet during the circumambulation of the thali is like mixing the chaff with the grain. Not their fault though, empty stomach is draconian enough to skin off the live-wire in you. Now it’s more being proffered as a day where sacrifice is easily smitten to the luxuries of the mind.
Diwali and Christmas holidays are not about Diwali and Christmas anymore. It’s about an opportunity to vanish and maybe just find a recluse in one of the islands not to be perturbed by throngs of people shaving your head off. And, if you do gather the courage to stay where you are, possibly basking in each other’s house for exchange of gifts is tiring and overwhelming.
How do we cherish the list of holidays!! Not because we are too eager to play a part in the jamboree but a solace to be free of the potpourri of professional and personal ensnare. Festivals have therefore become a super track to rail through to experience a pause from the monotony. It could be Christmas at Maldives where Santa could be just another visitor or a quite Diwali at home with simple food and calm mind, or perhaps Independence Day falling on a long weekend being trekked at vast mountain as the back drop, where watching hues of nature is preferable to the flag-hoisting ceremony.
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