No. I have not made a mistake. The Blues Festival has its own place in the hearts of those who are already waiting for it. I’m talking about why I don’t feel particularly ‘festive’ during festivals and am not exactly jumping for joy on joyful occasions.
It’s like this.
In India, the hustle and the bustle starts way before a festival actually descends upon us. Whether it’s the sweets we make, the clothes we wear, the gifts we give or down to what we do that day, our Indian festivals have some much ‘must do’ around them.
Let’s begin in January. 14th January is the Sankranti festival (the only solar festival we celebrate – the rest are lunar!) Then come the various festivals of Holi, Baisakhi, Gudi Padwa, (and other similar ‘New Years’ ) across the country. Most of them have prep work to be done. New clothes. Associated food items. Wishing others – even if it is a sticker on Whatsapp – Heaven help me! Buying gifts for near and dear ones. Buying gifts for the self. I like the months of May, June and July because not many festivals are celebrated during that time. While most people bemoan the lack of holidays during that time, I am secretly happy.
Then August comes and the dreadful month steps out in all its glory and heralds festivals that will go on till the end of the year. Raksha Bandhan. Ganesh Chaturthi (and all associated immersion days) Eid, Gokul Ashtami. Followed by Navratris. Dussehra. Diwali. And finally Christmas and the New Year! And just because we in India think we live in the West, to my sheer horror, Halloween and Thanksgiving have crept into the list. I don’t like it one bit. But you’ll say, what do I like! And you’d be right.
I have come to the conclusion I am not a ‘festive’ person. I am not that glittering array of lights that sparkles and twinkles through joyous times. I am not that garland of brightly coloured marigolds that dot the canvas with orange and yellow. I am not that flourish of rangoli that colours the floor and the spirit around it. I am not the pretty firecracker that lights up the sky. I am not all light and sweetness that is associated with gifting. And I am not that dressed up Christmas tree that spreads its branches with joy. No. I am not festive.
So what am I doing during all this hubbub? I am frozen into inactivity. Silent and still. Unmoved and unmoving. I am busy doing practically nothing. My contribution to this wildly joyful festive activity is just living and breathing. And watching with wonder what keeps these people going. Go I do. If people are rushing towards each other with joy, I want to rush in the opposite direction . I want to go solo while the rest are congregating in crowds. While others are wishing each other I am wishing myself away, wishing the day gets over, wishing it is over, and we move on to an ordinary day – even a Monday will do!
So do I not celebrate? I do. I do want to. The small moments. The small joys. A child’s achievement. A friend’s birthday. Someone else’s victory. A news item to be proud of. The saving of an endangered animal. There’s so much to celebrate. These are moments to be enjoyed. To smile about. To celebrate. And I do.But festivals and the tinsel town?
Sorry! I am outta here!