Friday, October 10, 2008

Night without dark spells

-By Swetha Amit
It was the sight of the swirling Ghagras and electrifying lights as we entered the stadium at 8:00 pm. The drum beats geared to lead us into a foot tapping fiesta. It almost seemed like the celebration of the onset of spring with the lively singing of Falguni Pathak on stage and the merriment of brilliant smiles worn on the faces.

Standing amidst the sea of jubilance, we keenly observed the unmistakable enthusiasm portrayed by all. Feeling rather lost initially, we were trying to find our feet literally amongst the graceful dancers, foot tapping to the tunes of Garba/Dandiya. As we finally got into the groove of an eclectic group, our spirits soared high as we swayed along. The two hours of elation seemed to remove the toxics of evil elements residing in our souls as our soles were in rapid action. Every inch of stress and anxiety dissolved like sugar into a hot cup of tea.

As the couple of hours came to a halt, we gathered our things and prepared for a long ride back home. Strangely we were feeling as refreshed and energetic as ever, realizing that fatigue seemed nowhere in our dictionary at that moment. On retrospection into the unforgettable night out, a flurry of thoughts seemed to creep in like the first rays of the rising sun.

It makes one marvel at what the festival of Navarathri brought about at least on a temporary basis. For starters, the entire crowd comprised of a blend that was contemporary and traditional; the young and the aged. Yet the dissimilarities which are normally are a hassle in day to day life, were beautifully bound with unity of uniqueness. It almost made us feel that such festivals were needed to celebrate the differences instead of being at logger heads. Class differences which were strikingly visible otherwise played no role here as everybody shed their inhibitions and got jiggy with whoever came along. Anyone was welcomed with open arms as they unconsciously joined a circle that was already in a full swing. Yet none seemed to find this ‘interruption’ a hurdle. Instead the ‘more the merrier’ attitude prevailed constantly. Even in the case of people who had come in large groups showed no animosity towards an ‘outsider’.

Feelings of awkwardness of ‘what will people think’ evaporated into the air of vivacity as an unspoken veil of unconditional acceptance prevailed. Even those who probably never danced for fear of being ridiculed let their hair down to participate in this commemoration. The folks were transported into a different world as they indulged in a gregarious folklore.

No wonder, it embarked the triumph of victory over evil. Every possible social, emotional and physical stigma was encountered with an enigmatic ecstasy. Enlightenment was glaringly obvious as the murky elements of condescending nature, hatred, caste; creed and sex were undoubtedly oblivious to all. Equality was attained as thousands came together under one roof to bow their heads humble to the Goddess who defeated the vile Asura. The divine mother who would have been proud to see her children ‘well behaved’ sans any traces of ‘impurity’. Not surprising as undue efforts went into the fierce battle without which the world would have been doomed to darkness.

We couldn’t help but draw parallels to this effervescent sight to that of a rainbow post a rainy day. Where the torrid clouds are battled out of their wits only to succumb to the valor of sunny rays penetrating furiously to drive the spells of gloom.

The beats and the sound of the tinkering anklets still echoed pleasantly in our ears as we dozed off to a slumber. It almost felt like a dream as we woke up the next day. The ‘picture perfect’ set up played in our minds: The laughter, glory and the musical trip. It felt like being escorted from the land of fantasy to the hard hitting reality with the evils grinning back at us in a tiresome way.

As we got around to our routines one question taunted our minds constantly “why was the Pandora’s box opened’? The answer seemed to spell the significance of this festival-which illuminates the realization within us; the specialty of this night without darkness or nights in this case.

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