Monday, September 19, 2011

You Are A Festival

You are a Festival

colors of Holi, gulaal, sindhoor,
splashed hues of bhang-like joy,
decorated like Diwali, your eyes,
your bangles, your earrings, sparkle like diye,
you waft into a room like the fragrances of Basant Panchmi,
and day-dreaming kites sashay in the breeze of your chatter

like Christmas gifts I unravel you,
and gasp each time, surprised anew,
I turn towards you on every Id
and thank Allah as you thank Ishwar on Teez, on Karwachauth,

like Krishna, when surrounded by gopiyan,
I sing and dance to your name –
my Radha. My Sita – I yearn for you.
Every separation is an exile
and I battle demons and Ravana of the worldly tasks,
blazing my way to your door with the Dussera glory;

when I meet you, it is like Bihu, Sakranti, Navratri, Lohri , Onam;
Bhangra, Garba, Raas throb in my steps,
and my songs, composed in your praise,
resound like Sanskrit chants, hymns,
poured with milk, honey and ghee - panch amrit,
over the Shiva-linga by the fasting believers.

I know that my baraat will arrive at your door one day,
with the same ardor that Durga Pooja and Ganesh Chaturthi
bring to the streets of Calcutta and Mumbai.

You are a festival
and I celebrate you each day.

Notes: Festivals: Holi, Diwali, Id, Dussera, Bihu, Sakranti, Lohri, Navratri, Lohri, Onam, Durga Pooja, Ganesh Chaturthi mentioned here are all associated with myths and rituals, that vary with region and language.
Bhangra in Punjab and Garba and Raas in Gujarat are popular folk dances.
Teez and Karwachauth are difficult fasts, carried out by wives, once a year (even a sip of water is prohibited). On these days, wives pray for the longevity and well being of their husbands.
Baraat is the retinue of the groom that goes to the door of the bride for wedding ceremony.

First published in Mythium, No. 3, 2011

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