Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ushering In Autumn


                                         



                                                    


        A multicoloured liquid bindi case. Small  tubes arranged in a circle on a plastic base. Each filled with red, pink, blue, green ...a cap with a wand. Two dozen silver bangles or bright coloured glass bangles. Tube balloons twisted and shaped into flowers and animals.  Pinwheels that rush into a burst of shades with the breeze. Tiny lips blow on whistles, interrupt the melee in various  notes and pitch. Shiny pistols crack with the turn  of the chamber. The red roll of ammunition sitting pretty in tiny round papercases with a pink paper cap. Chatter of the people, squeals of delight, bawling tantrums and Bollywood music rise above all the din. Only to be lowered when the priest take the stage. Our grandmothers did not endorse idol worship but no one stopped anyone from joining the festivity... Memories from a childhood faraway.

Liquid Kumkum Bindi: 11 Color 2gm Each
Courtesy www.amazon.com
                                 
                 The hypnotic beats of the dhak. Heady fragrance of the incense smoke. Dhunuchi dance bring out smiles and and gather the audience. The elite few rush around with round pleated satin badges stuck to their chest. A badge of pride for some and awe for others. Endless rounds of meetings for these in the committee. Evenings spent under the empty half done pandals. Important organizing matters stray into this and that. Sometimes these badges work wonders to push that puja thali ahead in the queue for the favoured few. Coy glances stolen. Rosy hopes rise within. The evening cultural function. Hurried dinner at homes and rushing to take the best seats. The local artistes croon out one song after the other till warned by the committee to stop hijacking the show. Some latch on till abruptly asked to vacate the stage. Shouts and and smart repartees from the ownerless voices at the back. Checking out crispy new saris and dresses rustling like the autumn leaves. New shoe bites lend that ache and limp. Desperately looking for an empty chair or anything to perch on. Endless stream of the devout and those on the look out. Matrons of the neighbourhood gossiping and complaining of what the world was coming to. Dishing out earfuls to those in the committee for the mismanagement... Youth, a receding memory.

      Idols no longer hold the  attention. Come to think of it, it never did. Apart from the aesthetics. It was  always the festivity. Watching the events unfold as if in a loop. Different places, strange faces. And yet the same, all over again. The cynical distance and disdain for the extravaganza lose out. Anandamela, the most awaited part of the four day exrtravaganza. Aroma of home cooked food from the bhodroloker bari. Smiling at familiar faces, exchanging pleasantries with acquaintances.

                                     


   When the earth cruises ahead in its planetary path, extricating itself from the smothering embrace of the star, the dews gently adorn the grass once again. The mornings promise of gentle days. When that maddening fragrant assault of the xewali or the coral jasmine takes over the senses, a smile within lightens the soul and is assured of better days.

17 comments:

  1. Transported me to another world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great prose! That bindi case brought back so many good memories!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope it was a good world Alka :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Chaitali, that feel is in he air!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Hema! Little things bring so much joy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi there! Such a poetic narration!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very smartly writren- short & crisp descriptions lent it an immediate air & one is transported to this very place you describe so well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. For me too the bindi case evoked memories--i had forgottn it.
    Lovely write-up as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you Leena! Am glad you liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Indu! You are generous with your words :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. The description of the festivity is rich and captivating. I agree with the conclusion and loved the poetic end.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How beautifully you've captured the essence of Pujo in this post, Ilakshee!

    ReplyDelete
  13. A refreshing write-up. I can relate to a few of them at my home too.

    ReplyDelete

Your words keep me going :)