Sunday, October 10, 2010

Festivals and I - A love-hate relationship

I call myself a recluse. ( It's my prized excuse for not letting anyone call me unsocial) I rarely see any point in attending rowdy parties, getting drunk with a group of friends to celebrate the end of an agonizing period of poring over textbooks (exams in other words). My idea of 'fun' is so entirely different from an average tween's...that sometimes I fear I might be a deviant. Besides overcrowded places make me nauseous. I prefer my peace and quiet.
That's why I'd rather be at home neatly wrapped up in a blanket on a cold rainy day relishing my cup of steaming hot chai (I'm a tea person yeah) and reading my favourite author's latest. That's my idea of heaven.

So you must not be surprised when I say I sincerely despise the period of festivals in my city. Be it Holi or Diwali or Eid or Durga puja I'm always dreading the season of crowded streets, malls, cafes, food joints, deadly traffic snarls and menace of auto-drivers hiking fares dutifully taking advantage of the festival frenzy.

But then.....why does my heart skip a beat every time I pass by a street hawker's stall and see a young girl buying her umpteenth new puja outfit with the hint of a gratified smile on her lips? why is there an explosion of excitement mingled with happiness somewhere in the pit of my stomach when I see my neighborhood being lit up with hundreds of tiny electric bulbs of every color a few days before diwali?


When I see a little boy putting an end to his Ramadan fast on CNN by peeking into the kitchen his mom is cooking up a delicacy in...why is it that I unwittingly end up smiling myself? Despite hating the tradition of smearing oneself and others with colors (which create irremovable stains on every part of your anatomy and your precious clothes to boot).....why is it that it feels so nice when I see a group of merry-makers on Holi with virtually unrecognizable features? Why do I get an intense urge to buy a Christmas tree every year and spend an entire day decorating it painstakingly as soon as December approaches?

I think it's because I'm human. It's because every religion has its own unique way of viewing the Almighty and despite the fact I do not believe in ritualism or superstitious customs...I am tempted to believe in the message of joy and cheer that each festival helps spread.

We're living in a world infested with the fears of war, hunger, poverty, religious fanaticism, governmental repression, terrorism, global warming and uncountable other evils. To phrase it differently...we're steadily running out of reasons to stay happy and keep that smile intact.
Maybe that's why we're reluctant to let go of any opportunity to celebrate. All of us look forward to these festivities in the same manner in which a newly employed person awaits their first paycheck.
Getting together with people you didn't get to see for a long time owing to that hyper hectic schedule, spending quality time with loved ones and family, shopping for clothes, shoes, accessories, cooking up scrumptious meals and sharing them with others...no matter what festival it might be these are undeniably the common traits.
A festival is a way of celebrating life, our treasured beliefs and the wonderful feeling of co-existing in harmony inspite of the innumerable differences. Fun isn't it?

So in the end I say..do not be misguided by 'my' idea of fun. Go out there and join in the celebrations. Cherish these moments of your life which might never come back again. If not anything else the memories of all the good times spent with friends and family will stay with you for a life time to be recollected in moments of solitude some day in the future.

Sig 2

24 comments:

Pulkit said...

I share your feelings. Even my idea of heaven is almost the same (replace tea with coffee). There used to be a time when I anticipated the festivals like nothing else and happiness filled me whenever they approached. But with time, the feelings died. Now they seem stupid to me, though they might not be. People really need a reason to be happy, to spend money, to meet each other. Without festivals, happiness would faint into transparency over the years for some people. That's why they are and will be.
Fantastic post, you really know how to capture your feelings and spread them in your blog for others to explore.

Anish said...

I could really really connect with this post!Felt as if I have written it-only I couldn't express my thoughts in a such an organized and beautiful way... :)

Jaspreet said...

Hey Sammy, i could totally relate to this post...even I prefer staying back home and doing something I like (watching a movie,reading,sleeping or even thinking, for that matter)-I am kind of averse to going out with friends to parties and all.It's not that we are unsocial ,it's just that our definition of enjoyment is somewhat different.
And as far as the message that you've conveyed- the celebration of every opportunity that these festivals provide us with, in times of distrust and disharmony, is commendable.Really loved reading this post! :)

Ashish said...

Every festival has its importance and fun...but I love durga puja days...it's the time I get to meet most of my old friends...there are a lot of memories..

post describes exactly what I feel about festive season... even I'm so-called unsocial

Sayandeep Kundu said...

Laid-back cold afternoons....sweet liquor chai or coffee after a dreamy siesta..and devouring books of favourite authors or writing poetry..ar painting...sounds heavenly....In contrast crowded streets, clamor clatter...wohh real hell..But when a festival churns out the cheers of life, I don't feel like reading authors or writing or sketching lines..I see that youthful lively soul of ppl and I connect it with my poetic ecstasy..gee.. I know not if I've lied..

vamsi said...

Rightly said.. In this age of jealousy, terrorism and other evils, people are really striving for reasons to celebrate humanity..In a life busy with computers, social networking sites, etc festivals really do give us a break to have fun and frolic with friends and family..My fav festive being Ganesh Chathurthi :) Nice post :)

Me-Era* said...

Thanks and wish you the same!! :)

Giribala said...

I was going to write, "I feel the same way too," and then read the comments and saw everyone has written the same things. Now I have to say. "Most of the bloggers feel the same way." :-)

Selenium said...

Hmm... I have mixed feelings with these festival times... -___-

But when there are people celebrating around me, I don't mind if they pull me in. If they don't, I usually continue with my manga/anime addiction... with a bottle of sprite.

dialoguewithyou said...

Like others before me, I too could feel the connection in your words. Probably we are all the same from the core just express ourselves in one way or the other :)
A wonderful post Sammy :D :D

Nethra said...

Even I prefer reading a book over going out to some crowded place. And I do not like festivals because I got to help mom in kitchen. :( I do not enjoy cooking.

evanescentthoughts said...

I dont see my earlier comment on this post :(

Shruti said...

When i started reading the post, i could identify with a lot of things, specially 'being a recluse' part. =)
And i love the way you have beautifully penned down your feelings on secularism and festivals.
The whole post made a lot of sense to me. :)
P.s- Comparison of the festivities to the first paycheck was awesome! ;D

Bikramjit said...

well i must say my dad use to tell us to stay at home and enjoy the time with family but when we were young it was more like get friends together ..

now that i have grown older i feel yes family comes first
now waiting for diwali to come as i love crackers and waiting for friends to turn up this time ...

Bikram's Blog

Vetrimagal said...

I am commenting on your blog first time. Hope you dont mind.:-)

I liked what you worte . During the course of my long life, I had felt this too. But, festivals are made for the family to enjoy and mingle with people whom we don't meet often. I take it as a kind of bonding time. :-)

Dreamer said...

I so get what you mean. I too am not a major fan of crowds and noise, so festivals do sometimes annoy me. But one look at the happy, glowing faces of the people and you can't help but feel a tinge of glow within yourself.

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

we're the same sammy! i also hate crowded places..i prefer a peace and quiet place..where i can relax ^^

i really agree with you that festival is a way of celebrating life..though i also hate too much noises they produce :/

ani_aset said...

surprisingly even i would love to just stay home and relax the whole day :P

Girish said...

I get what u mean!
Festivals are a way to unwind from the daily routine!
I'm not at all religious, but I love festivals because they give me joy!
I hate crowds and I hate holi! I don't like to participate in them, but love to see others having fun! :)

Benny said...

Hey reached here,after all d dhishum dhishum in FB..:) N I would hav seriously regretted if I had not come here! Somehow I felt very good reading this.. someone who spoke my mind and I was acknowledging every single line of urs..wel written..wil follow urs:)

Tarang Sinha said...

Hi! I could relate to this post to some extent. I'm an avid reader and prefer reading to anything. I won’t say that I don’t like festivals (except holi, due to the foolishness of applying colours and then struggling to remove them and loud crackers in Diwali rather one month before diwali huh! I’m sick of it) but I don’t understand the ballyhoo during festivals as according to me it is the matter of devotion. I too can’t stand clamor and crowd and try to stay from it. Still, wish you a happy Dushehra (belated) and coming Diwali :)

Ria said...

Loved the way u hav written the whole post....felt as if i am writing it.

Lakshmi Rajan said...

When I was kid, i looked forward to all celebrations and festivals and to celebrate it. When I grow up, i was lazy to celebrate and festivals meant HOLIDAY and LAZINESS. Now when I have a little one , I want to celebrate all the festivals so that he understands what the culture is and to see the joy in his face :) life is a cycle.

unpredictableblog said...

Hmm....can understand the feeling. I too am not very fond of festivals and crowded/noisy places.
Pretty nice blog you have here. I think this was my first visit.
Will be back for more :)

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