Friday, 10 October 2014

my love/hate relationship with september/october...


there is something about september and october - i seem to be having a love-hate relationship with these months for quite some years now. 
the love part is that it brings one of india's most colourful festivals - navrathri or dussehra - which is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country, but each no less festive and colourful than the others. the 9 night/10 day festival came to an end last weekend. 

in tamilnadu, which is my home state, it is celebrated with a colourful 'golu/kolu' - a display of dolls over the 10-day period, arranged in odd-numbered steps. girls and women dress up in their finest, and daily rounds to visit neighbours, friends, and family are common, where they are given a snack of sundal , along with the traditional offerings of turmeric, sandal & kumkum, betel leaves, coconuts/bananas, and often, a small return gift or favour.  

seen above, part of a set of nesting dolls

new dolls are often added to the family's collection, with the more creative women coming up with 'themes' for their displays each year ! the dolls are lovingly and carefully wrapped and packed off at the end of 10 days until next year. this is one of my most favourite festivals, with fond memories from my younger days... 

the dolls above are called the 'chettiar dolls' - the chettiar doll and his wife are traditionally considered shopkeepers/grocers, and are usually displayed with rice and lentils spread out in little containers before them, signifying the 'shop'. this particular version has a detachable head, so that you can turn them to face any direction !


and now, whats the hate part, you ask ? in the past several years, september/october has also been the month in which we invariably move or inevitably travel, every year. which has not only resulted in me not having a golu of my own, but also makes me end up very stressed these months. 
so while everyone everywhere is either in the midst of festivities or enjoying the beauty of fall/autumn around them, i am running around clueless with a house looking like this- 



yeah, i know, not pretty to show in public. but thats how it is. clothes. cartons. bubblewrap. packingtape. everywhere. not something that i particularly look forward to, but have come to accept as a part of my lifestyle :) and i have every reason to believe that i'll be going through the same again, in a few weeks.


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