Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Navaratri seasons greetings...

Happy Dushera to everyone! I know I am late by a week.. But hey here the spirit of Dushera stays for a while.. How you ask? Through Garbha and Dandiya nights!

Growing up Dushera used to be a big festival just because my uncle owned a business and he would make it a grand celebration during Dushera. This festival used to be the one when we would buy expensive clothes. We used to get school break during this period, so we were able to enjoy with visiting aunts and cousins. Many of my friends would come over the puja too, so it would be excuse to see them during the break.

 I remember those days with (endless!! ) cleaning of all appliances, dusting the whole house, gearing up for Saraswati puja, cleaning our bicycles, scooter, kinetic, car… (Yeah, that’s why I said endless!!!! ) planning on the decoration of kaka’s office and workshop, helping to run around for last minute stuff.. The list will go on and on.. Weather is always beautiful around this time of the year in Bangalore. I remember finishing one ceremony at home, then to office, then to workshop… visit them, go there, come here…. Busy busy days.

After coming to US, everything suddenly stopped. All we did here was go to temple on Dushera and come back home. Also I realized it’s not a big festival for many, so everyone had a low key affair. Then I met my friend Frany. That year she insisted we all go to Garbha night arranged by Gujarati Samaj. I was dead against.. I have only seen garbha nights in the movies and in TV.. Never ever been to one in B’lore. On the other hand Yogi was a regular at Dandiya nights back in Mumbai. He has a big group of friends who would go often to Falguni Phatak’s concerts. So he was really excited. I kept cribbing up to that day saying that I have no idea how to do Garbha. Frany assured she would teach me when we get there.

Then I complained that I don’t have dress like them to wear for the dance, so I will skip. Frany had an answer to that too. She said I could borrow one of her ghagra & even jewellary to go with it. So eventually I gave up fighting and got dressed for that night. When we went there, there were quite a few people (probably around 50 on the dance floor) and many of them sitting around watching. Frany asked me to just follow her and try out the steps.. Voila, who knew I could actually follow her steps right behind.. Then as the night progressed, dance picked up… I noticed my son and hubby were dancing away in glory (this was back when I only had him), so I tried to keep on going at it. Steps started to become tougher, but thanks to my friend explaining each step and making me TRY it.

Then.. as they say rest is history….. Now I try NOT to miss the Garbha nights. I am not big fan of Dandiya, but I do enjoy Garbha more, coz of the graciousness and flow in that dance. Frany has moved away from here about three years back, I miss her everyday.. But terribly during Dushera time. We haven’t stopped going to Garbha though. I have to admit I thoroughly enjoy playing garbha (then whole night put hot compressor on the legs! Aha what fun! Sometimes I can’t even feel them!). And now Dushera has become Garbha nights for me. I still love this festival of Navaratri where you celebrate the power of women depicted through various Goddesses. And now I do have added joy during this festival.

Hope you all had a great Navaratri/ Dhashera!! :o)

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