So with the Shraadh ending today, having remembered the dead ancestors, we now look forward to a month of festivals, and a new Vikram Samvat in 30 days' time. (btw, I love the name Vikram. sucha swoonworthy name it is!)
Anyhoo, so Navratri starts tomorrow. Since we Gujaratis have started taking over the world, navratri celebrations are marked with the 'Dandiya'. Now, every time someone mentions this, I fight an urge to correct them that 'dandiya' are the two sticks which are used as props, and the dance form is called "Raas" (as in Raas-Leela). Saying, "I love Dandiya" would be equivalent of saying, "I love eating chopsticks". And the dance form of clap-twist-jump-clap is called Garba. Even bad dancers like me know how to do it. The way everyone down south is born with Carnatic music, we in gujarat are born with preinstalled garba. You can never be a bad garba dancer. Unless you are my mother, who is a horrible dancer. She does garba steps like a 2 year old on crack. (which is a very disturbing analogy, kindly pardon)
So, though I can dance and all, I am not a huge fan of it. Couple of reasons, too much crowd, bad bollywood music, giant insects and most importantly, lack of friend circle. I've always had very few friends, and well, currently well, let me not talk about it, i get depressed. Also, never got hooked to it because when we were in schools, we would invariably have term exams in this period, and after school, institute of chartered accountants of india has ruined my life. So yea.
Of course, I do have some memories associated with this festival. And I love telling stories. So I'll ramble away a few incidents about the festival that well, everyone calls Dandiya. *cringe*
I was 7-8 year old, and our school had organised garba for children. (you see, navratri is the festival of 9 *nights* and back then, the garba would last all night long, literally. now you have a deadline of 1:30, but back then, it was less nuisance and the garba would actually start picking pace at around midnight) Since we were young, and we could not take part in midnight celebrations cos of school the next day, our school organised garba from 7 pm to 10 pm for us. I distinctly remember this one because well, my dad was supposed to pick me up from nani's place and drop me to school, by 6:30. He did not turn up till 8 pm. I was almost on the verge of crying. He probably thought that I was upset because I missed the 'fun' for an hour. I felt bad because *one* day I asked him to be on time, and he was not. He was never on time when we had to reach school on time for picnic. He still is never on time when I have a flight or train to catch and he is dropping me there. It's funny how certain things done unintentionally could leave such a deep mark in someone's mind. I hold no grudges obviously, cos maybe he was busy. But maybe, giving someone you love, one day of your life, would not be that bad an idea. You don't have to be there for her everyday, ask her how her day at school/college was. But if she's participating in her first moot court competition, which is also her first public speaking thing, just be supportive. I digress.
Other incident was I think in 6th or 7th standard. Either of these years when there was an 'adheek maas' which meant an extra month before the diwali. :p so exams and all over, diwali in november, school organised inter class garba competition. Very enthusiastically I participated. I was perhaps 3rd or 4th worst dancer in the troupe. So we were paired up, some 20 girls and 10 pairs. We practiced every day for an hour in the morning activity period, and all the happy hormones released made me all happy happy. But then, my dance partner fell ill. I was left without a dancing partner and well, I cannot dance without a partner on stage. I almost cried. The dance teacher, who knew us all since we were toddlers, saw me, felt pity, and convinced another girl to be my partner. She reluctantly agreed, because well, she was worse than me in dancing. I still remember how much I had enjoyed being on the stage. I still remember how incredibly thrilled I was when we exited after the performance. We won against our seniors that year. The garba we danced on was this one. (this is only the link to the song, and not the actual performance.)
And then one year, I went to CEPT. Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology. This was probably 5-6 years back. Everyone on the ground was doing only ONE step. no variations, no groups - everyone performing only one step, and on the beats of dhol. That was the best ever experience.
It is something like this
That was the last of navratri celebrations. This year, if nothing else, I do want to go out, have fun till wee hours of morning, tea at kitli, and some friends to laugh with.
Universe, are you listening?