Life seem to be shifting gears rapidly as the year approaches August...my favorite month of the year...not for the fact that it is the month of my birth,,...my birthday month...but for the fact that August paves the way for the happy festive season ahead which lasts till March followed by a dry spell of about four months when there is no single reason to celebrate. Every month following August has at least one day which is different from other days....beautified by the traditions, rituals, sweets, people, celebrations....varied from the routine. I love these little celebrations which break the monotonous journey of life..Though I fancy all the festivals...small or big....the one which I cherish and look forward to the most is Diwali (Deepawali)...for the simple reason that I visit my in-laws place where this festival is celebrated in all its fervor and glory, to be followed by yet another very grand and pious Chath pooja which I have never witnessed until I got married.
Diwali marks the get together of all family members all across different places at home and celebrations..A grand family comprising 15 members from mom-in-law, father-in-law, bhaiyas, bhabhis, grandfather(dadaji), me, M and the three naughty kids.....a small mela kind :)...You might be wondering that am I crazy to be such delighted to visit my in-laws place...but trust me I really look forward to it as they are so loving and understanding and also that I have been born and brought up in a nuclear family makes the experience all the more fascinating for me surrounded by so many people..Yes, definitely there are times when it is slightly difficult to live up to the expectations and responsibilities to be in-law's place....to get up early (which I manage fairly as everyone sleeps early there, so I get my 7 hours of sleep), to have a little less of me time....but yet there is a lot which I like about this vacation. These 15 days are a real bliss and the reasons are many.....
- The first one being the break which I get from my five weekdays and two weekends routine....I don't even realize the difference between a Monday and a Saturday there...no track of time.
- The process of getting some new clothes stitched....time to take out vibrant sarees from their hibernation for some special occasions, colorful bangles, binids, jewellery which otherwise are stuffed and sealed in the closet.
- Buying out different gifts for everybody ....toys, chocolates for the kids.
- The ever increasing list of things to be packed in-spite of several reminders from M to keep it as minimum as possible.
- The look on M's face when I have already stuffed three huge bags with my stuff..so he has to pick up another small one for his clothes..which looks non-existent in comparison to my baggage.
- Meeting different people from neighborhood, sharing life...answering their curious questions...sometimes funny...sometimes annoying...
- The endless laughter, teasing, long chit chats, candid camera moments, kids crying n quarelling, shopping sessions...
- The detailed and minute preparations of festivals from lighting diyas to the Laxmi Ganesh pooja, from sweets to the food, from dressing up to firing crackers, from seeking blessing to the cracker competitions..
- The fun filled and wonderful rangoli making by all the ladies of the house, trying to make a better one each year.
- Hearing people being addressed by different salutations ...dadi, dadaji, chachu, chachi, bade papa, badi mummy...so sweet from the the boring uncle and aunty...
- Playing non stop with my niece and nephews.........cricket, ludo, chess..lol..remembering our childhood days.
- Making of thekuas (traditional home made biscuits) specifically for chath in the morning, whose making process totally amuses n delights me and so does the taste.
- The sweet melodious traditional folk chath songs playing all over the place loudly which I love to hear though I am at short of understanding the lyrics.
- Getting up at dawn and to get all decked up to go to the ghat (river bank) for the auspicious chath pooja.
- The decoration, the lighting, the crowd, the color, the boats at the ghat...making the place picturesque as if some film shooting is going on.
Ahhhhh...the list is endless...and I can go on and on but this year I have one more reason than the usual ones and that is the release of SRK's new romantic film 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' on 13 November after long :)))
So do share what you like the most in the festive season???
Till then keep reading and keep celebrating :)))