Celebrations! My home town has just been through easily the most festive period of the year. Durga Pooja, or Navratri, is celebrated with splendour that, dare I say, is unmatched by any other city anywhere in the world.
But why do we celebrate? What is it about celebrations that makes us put our hair down, let our worries slip away, and enjoy ourselves?
We are witnessing the slipping away of another year from our lives. 2023. Autumn is here, and winter is not far away. Are our celebrations a way to take a break from a period of hard work, labour, stress, and worry?
Is this humankind's way of taking a break and preparing ourselves for what would have been a harsh winter ahead?
I have had a strange experience these past few days. Those who know me know that I leave home early in the morning, sometimes as early as 4 a.m., to walk or cycle. It is the best time of the day to do so. The streets are quiet, the roads empty. Even the guards are slumbering.
The past few days, though, have not been that way at all. The roads are bursting with people, motor cyclists, with threes and twos pelting away through the night. The roadside restaurants are doing brisk business. There is no place on the road to walk leave alone for a lonely cyclist to make his way.
The people seem to be in a mood. Laughing, shouting, enjoying themselves as they let their hair down. No, I was not annoyed.
Instead, I am so happy to see people letting go. Being themselves, if you prefer. I just switched from cycling to walking and changed my route a bit to avoid the crowded areas.
Rest and recovery, celebrations being one part of such a process are so vital. Taking breaks and vacations, even if that is what makes you happy, I hope you had an enjoyable break and feel ready to face the rest of the year.
Happy Dussehra. I pray that good triumphs over evil for all of you!