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Of Reflections And Refractions

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There's an emptiness, a feeling of floating in a bubble as Dussehra comes to an end. There's a huge pile of things to be tackled but I'm unable to shake off an explicable inertia. I'm preoccupied, mentally jotting down the tasks that need to be ticked off a never ending list; the simplest of the lot and one sticking out foremost is that of spring-cleaning and getting the house ready for Diwali.

The period of a lull after a bout of intense activities is my excuse for the sudden dip in spirits. Yet, I know, that's not entirely true. A part of me is feeling pepped up, going with the flow, checking off the items, doing what the situation demands but the other part grinds to a halt at frequent intervals, non-cooperating, holding on to the present with tight fists and watching it slip away into a timeless zone.

Finally, the truth of life is that no event or situation is constant.

November will be the month of birthdays and also when my parents would visit us, something I'm looking forward to. It dawns on me that December would soon tip-toe in and slink away leaving me wondering yet again about where and how the 365 days disappeared and what is it that I can smile about 2016. I decide to make a gratitude list at the end of the year to thank the Universe for the many blessings.

I'm not willing to look beyond the year-end at the moment and instead focus on the past fortnight that flew by. The break from school routine was the only let up in the otherwise packed 2 weeks. Every day, every hour was bursting at its seams with to-do lists. The minutes had vanished into thin air teasing me to stop and just take stock. Yet, I was happy to just let myself ebb and flow without a pattern.

I had stiff deadlines to meet at work during the day but the evenings were earmarked for the festivities. Socializing, community programs, golu-hopping, or having people over for vettalai paaku, these adorned my usual plain routine like glittering accessories. Boring suits and jeans gave way to soft, bright silk sarees. I lingered a tad longer in front of the mirror adjusting a stray hair, making an effort to match the dazzling crowd outside. Roles of a mother, wife, and the adult shouldering many responsibilities side-stepped for a bit as the fun-loving woman peeked out of the closet, took centerstage and decided to let her hair down. Like a mono-stage act, I sauntered from one scene to another, wearing multiple hats, and changing roles seamlessly as these diverse characters converged at various points; it almost seemed like a carnival.

The screenplay brought back memories of the past when Amma, my sister and I would be a team doing the rounds of houses during Navratri-Golu. The sister and I were known in the close-knit circle as the singer duo and would be called upon to showcase our skill as an offering to the traditional dolls that adorned the odd number of steps in houses. Post-marriage, as the husband and I moved houses and in and out of various social circles in the past many years, I've come to don this mantle alone, slowly graduating from a self-conscious teenager who half-heartedly participated in the traditions, to someone who has begun to enjoy these little moments, experiencing the love and joy that emanates from cherishing the essence and spirit of these rituals.

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How did you spend this Dussehra? What has been happening in your life lately?

Comments

  1. Fluidity of this piece is exemplary, Uma! I love the almost gliding way you speak about one set of emotions merging into the next much like one festival giving way to another. By the way, we sisters too were called upon to sing everywhere and I JUST realised I didn't sing at your place when I came over and neither did we click pictures!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, coming from you, it's high praise, Shailaja. Thank you so much! <3
      Your visit was too rushed ya. Yes, I realized that too..no pics, nothing :-( We need to meet again at my place now!

      Delete
  2. I wish I had an exciting answer to give here but the entire festive season this year has been hijacked by the kids' exams. I sound like a bit of a stuck record to myself - maybe because this is the first time but I can barely think beyond that. What's worse the dandiya function in our apartment complex was cancelled so we didn't get that much needed break either.

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    Replies
    1. Aww..Tulika, I can understand. I'm dreading the phase when the kid will have exams. Hope it eases out for you soon.

      Delete
  3. You really had a very busy and fun fortnight. I wish mine were just as exciting as yours, but sigh... truth couldn't have been any more different. I loved how you have narrated your experiences and the activities ... My sister and I were asked to sing if someone needed to be chased away :P

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    Replies
    1. I did have fun, Raji (hope you don't mind me calling you so). And the last line cracked me up :-)

      Delete
  4. You seem to have had a fun time this festival season. It was good for me, with ashtami meal and a quick hop to the pandals. I loved your narration and felt as if I was with you there..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never been to any Pujo Pandals. Should do that sometime, have heard they are great. Thank you, Parul! :-)

      Delete

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