6 Oct 2016

Festival season is here in full swing and it is getting to me. 

Memories of festivals past haunt me... of Grandma making rangolis with rice flour paste (are they still called rangolis if they are white?) for Lakshmi puja, of Mum presenting misshapen modagams for Ganesh Chaturthi, of the glee of not having to study during Saraswati puja, of letting neighbours show off their Golu and singing awkward Svarajatis for them in return for sundal and pottu, of trying not to touch the cow dung while putting the pookalam and stealing raisins fried in ghee kept for palada prathaman, of the thrill of bursting 1000walas (before I became a treehugger) and lighting single vedis in my hand trying to throw them before they burst, of the smells of oiled hair and itchy new clothes on Diwali day, of staying up late with everyone on NY eve and watching trash TV….

It's been eight years since Grandpa passed on. Seven years since I moved out of home. Seven years since we celebrated any festival like we used to - with our hearts full and enthusiasm brimming over. Sure, Mum still makes sure the younger sibs are aware of tradition and festivals and slogs away to feed us, but the "celebrations" part is definitely not the same. 

And after two Diwalis away from home in dismal, unhappy conditions, I also seem to have convinced myself that all the dressing up and drama are not “my thing”. That I don’t believe in all of these shenanigans, because ultimately everything leads back to religion, and I'm so not falling in that trap. 

But only until I can’t skip that annoying Diwali ad on YouTube and end up watching the entire thing and bawling my eyes out. Who am I kidding? I need the colors and the smell of incense and the itchy new clothes back in my life to beat the cynic out of me. And I need them yesterday.