A strange emptiness hits me every festival season.
Growing up, I hated rituals. And I made it a habit to rebel against every tradition.Though we didnt have too many. Being a “Jain”, there were no poojas done at home for any festivals. The rituals, if they can be so called, involved going to the temple for festivals, and huge amounts of special cooking by Mom. And part of the temple ‘ritual’ would be to wear new or special clothes and be on your best behavior. Over the years of living in different cities by myself, I’d stopped even that. A festival holiday was just the same as any other Saturday or Sunday. Just another holiday.
Now that I’m a mother myself – and one that prefers to eat out rather than slave over the hot stove – I find myself searching for rituals and traditions. And missing them.
What is it that I miss about something that I’ve never known or valued – well… .the anticipation, the excitement, the preparation. The belonging. Feeling a “part” of the festive season. And passing on those feelings to my son.
All through the Ganapathi festival I kept ‘planning’ to be a part of it, to take my son out and show him this stuff. But I didnt. It came and went while we were too busy at work, and life in general. Then Navarathri & Dushera – I hear the buzz over the lunch table and the blogosphere – Bengalis celebrating Durga pooja, pandal hopping and discussing the best ‘bhog’ and pandals; the Maharashtrians talking about Kojagiri and some other ritual where they keep a devi at home with special pooja etc for 9 days… and I feel sad at not having any such ‘festivities’ at home. And I make a face, and let it go. With 12 hours a day spent out of the house, who has the time and energy to do those? Not me for sure. And if not me, then who?
The Hubby is 2 steps ahead of me. Has no inclination what-so-ever. And if I mention it, there’s a calm look and a “er, why are you taking on all of that. Lets just chill”.
So for this Duserra, I’m going to keep it simple. Put up some flower garlands around the house (the huge piles of flowers being sold by the roadside are really really tempting ;) and take off for a nice long weekend somewhere :)
ps: just remembered this post from 2 years ago. Nothing’s changed.