For me Navratri is not limited only to worshipping womanhood!!
It takes me down the memory lane where there’s enough excitement even before Navratri to get prepped with Chaniya Choli, sarees, bangles, earrings, necklaces, everything matching something contrasting, for Garba Nights!
In that memory lane after the above mentioned first stop, I take a turn where I remember my dad buying a Garba for home, my mom making prasaad, we kids sitting obediently with our parents to say aarti, to seek blessings, to look forward to something sweet.
Then this turn leads me to my grandmother’s house, where there’s ‘Akhand Diya’ My grandmother overjoyed to see her grand daughters dressed traditionally. My aunt, cousins all dressed up for ‘Garba’
Then the memory lane takes me to one of my best childhood memories related with Navratri; the Gujarati Society where we played Garba with our friends. Men seated on one side of the Mandap, young boys among them in kurtas and Kediyos, women and girls seated on the other side with a plethora of colours, almost blinding shimmer from sequins and mirrors from sarees and chaniyas.
Familiar and new faces, blessings, laughter, crushes and blushes. The fragrances from perfumes, jasmine gajras, roses, agarbattis, karpura, sweets lingering in the nightly shiny sky and settling on our clothes as we dance around the pictures of various Goddesses and the big Garba lighted with mud lamps right in the centre of the mandap!
And oh the music…..the tantalizingly exciting specific drumbeats and familiar Gujarati and Falguni Pathak songs that make you go jump a little in air and touch the ground for a bit till you elate again and become an inseparable part of the delightful frenzy of Garba dance, either with or without the ‘tik-tik’ of dandiyas!!
The memory lane also takes me to a rather disappointing halt, where our mid term exams always coincided with Navratri, instead of all 9 days we could go to play Garba only on Fridays and Saturdays and if our last exam was drawing lol
Isn’t it absolutely wonderful that we relive our special occasions with every completion of earth going round the sun? You just need one address to enjoy these moments: The Memory Lane.