For the first time in years, there will be no late-night dancing, no dressing up, no loud music in the neighborhood, or sneaking out at wee hours of the night with the entire squad. For the first time in years, we wouldn’t shop for Navratri, we wouldn’t get our leaves approved for the age-old tradition of catching up with friends and family back home. Who knew so much could change in a year!
The thought of walking down the empty streets this Navratri, which till last year, would light up the entire neighborhood or crossing empty Dandia venues is making me jittery. Already!
This year has been especially tough for all of us. With the pandemic and self-isolation assuring us all of a mundane routine, the news of all our major festivals getting canceled was disheartening, to say the least. First, Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, and now Navratri stands next in line. Navratri 2020 dates this year are starting 17th Oct and ending on the 25th.
Festivals in India are celebrated not just because of the age-old traditions, but because they spark joy and meaning in our lives. They give us a feeling of being wanted or belonging somewhere. The 9-day cultural extravaganza of Navratri is the heart and soul of states like Mumbai, Gujarat, and West Bengal. And the news of our garba competitions or pujo pandal hopping getting canceled this year will not be well-received. But what other option do we even have! However, despite all of this, I do wish to celebrate Navratri this year as well, just a little differently.
Nostalgia is real
I remember last year around this time I had traveled to Baroda to celebrate Navratri with my cousins and their wives. The celebrations were in full swing and people painted the entire town in a rainbow with their attires. The street-side shops looked like a flamboyant palette of colors. It was anything, but dull.
All night, I danced to the tunes of rock-Garba, traditional folk, Bollywood (of course), and EDM dandiya, you name it. The non-stop dancing, the electrifying ambiance, the whole vibe of the venues, and the dance competitions are what people look forward to every year. Come rain or shine nothing stops people from being a part of this festival.
How I am celebrating Navratri this year
When so much around you changes giving you very little time to fathom, it is always best to take a step back. Sit back, calm down and observe your senses. And if I am not wrong that’s exactly what Navratri means. Don’t believe me? Here, read on!
Navratri, when translated into English, literally means nine nights. The night is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind and the body. Similarly, Navratri is the resting time for the spirit inside you. It is the time when you withdraw yourself from all sensory activities (eating, talking, watching, touching, listening, smelling), and rest in yourself. This withdrawal from all sensory activities takes you deeper within yourself, which is the actual source of bliss, joy, and enthusiasm in your life.
So this Navratri when everything around you is exceptionally quiet, take a moment to look deeper into your soul and let yourself rest, truly. Navratri is the perfect time for you to realize that you are loved, and cherish this feeling of being loved. When you do this, you come out feeling stronger, wiser, rejuvenated, refreshed and harmonious – something we all could fall back on at a time like this.
In addition to taking care of yourself, how about taking care of others too? You could prepare simple dishes at home and feed a needy family. Be kind. The pandemic has been very hard for all of us. Maybe donate your old clothes to the orphanages. You could even offer to help your househelp’s children with schoolwork if you have a well functioning Wi-Fi at home. This year, perhaps, the best celebration could be making the year a little easier for yourself as well as for those around you.
Have a very happy Navratri 2020.
Tell us how you wish to celebrate Navratri 2020.
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