Navratri For Me: Then And Now
Navratri to me, as a child, meant the arrival of cozy garba parties hosted in the palatial garden of our bungalow, the famous neighbourhood ‘pav-bhaji’ wala, the traditional ‘pankhida’ song playing on the ‘then’ popular CD player which were so rare in homes, the swishing of traditional mirror-worked chaniya cholis and bandhani dupattas and the much-awaited event where friends and family would gather together.
We revered it as a celebration of supreme female cosmic power and worshipped Goddess Durga in her variously manifested forms. The festival brought with it fun, frolic, joy and celebration.
On the time line, this is around the 1980s (yes I’m kind-of old)
Today it’s a much-diluted affair.
It has become a cacophony of fashion trends.
A matter of ripe advertisement opportunities.
An awaited beauty propaganda.
Sales strategies which fool the gullible.
A worry for parents while newspapers flash cases of drunken frenzy
That time of the year when traditional garba beats are fused into Hollywood melodies.
Amidst all this, as a mom, I’m clinging. Clinging to the hope of passing on memories of this festival to my kids, just like my mom had to me. Of savouring it as a family affair and peppering it with a lifetime of nostalgia. Of enjoying it in pristine spirit.
Thanks to Instagram, photos and my Blog, I’m able to document some of these for my kids and sit back some day and reminisce over iy.
Between the dancing and the lack of light, here is what I’ve captured from this year’s Garba event.
That’s my daughter prepping her feet with ornaments and freshly painted nails.
Beautiful handmade tassels for her hair.
The traditional bandhini or the favourite orange?
The beautifully decorated venue
The quintessential (over-exposed though) family picture.
Sugar treats for a night-boost!
You know it’s been a successful Garba night when the kids sleep in the car.
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