Navratri Fanfare

I LOVE stories.. it is the butter, jam, jelly, caramel and pickle to my bread. As a story teller, Navarati is most certainly my most favorite festival of the year (well, second to Diwali, which is usually birthday time!). For the past few years, especially since I moved to Bangalore, I look forward to setting up my Golu and make sundal of different sprouts everyday. Since there are very few family and friends who visit me here, the onus of brightening the festivities can become a daunting ask.

Golu is the festive display of dolls and figurines in South India. These dioramas traditionally narrate a legend from a Hindu text or a secular cultural issue. They are also known as Kolu, Gombe Habba, Bommai Kolu or Bommala Koluvu. Arranged on odd-numbered stairs known as padis, the display is usually very common in themes. Goddess-related, weddings, rural life and life in general are common themes. Golu displays are particularly popular in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and Kolu in Tamil usually means Divine Presence.

My five-padi kolu has a handmade park at the base. Green, or the color of the heart chakra, is my idea of peace in tumultuous times. Then come primal instincts, which is food. Anything made with affection and devotion not just satiates hunger but also brings positivity and health. Having lived alone for so long, delicious food is a hunt in itself. Whenever one finds deliciousness, the superheros in us comes right out, and sharing is not always imperative.

When you have desires, it is nice to share it with someone special. Big fat Indian weddings are conducted with a lot a fanfare, pomp and gusto. The festivities are an integral part of the culture and society in India. In the end, everything we say or do is in reverence to the supreme power. Per Hindu beliefs, we have several deities that help us understand the implications and consequences of our actions. I am not an atheist nor am I agnostic, but I am not a fan of idol worship either. I practice the simple law of respect and empathy, which helps strengthen my faith, hopes and beliefs. Let there be love and light, always!

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