Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The elysium of festivities

Long before your doors are adorned with the serene garlands and your lobbies lighted with the pious lamps, you're already entrenched within the state of the festivities, the auspiciousness and the bliss of the day.You were so involved in making sure everything works fine that you missed out on relishing something that ought to be savored. Yes, I'm talking about some of our festivals in general and Diwali, in particular. We always associate colors and tastes with our festivals but we frequently disparage the aroma that is associated with them. It's so intricate and yet so vehement that we acknowledge it but our  frivolousness  and enthusiasm make us overlook it. So, this post is a wayward yet genuine attempt at bringing to you, your own festivals, from an angle you've never seen before, or never smelled or inhaled before, shall I say.

There is a lot of preparation and a humongous amount of ingredients and prerequisites which are of utmost necessity if we are to celebrate some of our festivals in all of their essence. You bring all sorts of stuff and while you're engaged in the vicissitudes of getting all the things at place, you fail to witness the redolence that fills up the place. You start with getting all sorts of flowers and garlands. You have some lotus stems, some rose petals and all that suits the palette. You set the ensemble on plates ad you simply walk away. The bloom of the flowers exudes and fills the place and waits for you to espouse all of it. But, there are more not so trivial tasks to get into.

You get back to the markets to fetch all sorts of things. The fruits, the sweets, the incense sticks, the candles, the Diyas, the oil and the list is endless. You make checklists, telly things as you buy them and finally, you move back home, thinking that with the Dhanteras shopping and now with the Diwali shopping, all is set to rock. You get back. Some of the most culinary delights are being simmered on the stoves. The delectable Aloo Matar ki Sabji, the cherubic Pooris, and not to forget, the priceless and timeless Kheer. You plunge into a reverie, coming closer to the atomic dispersions of these delights as they soothe your senses. Your association with this aroma is just about to consummate and just then, your somnolence gets hold of you.

2 hours later, you wake up to the most jabbering moments of the week. You're being screamed at, cursed for not being responsible enough to get all things done. Just as everyone is slandering you, you find out what a horrible mistake you've made. It's 5 in the evening and you still haven't bought any new clothes for the occasion. You can't believe your imbecility and run towards the market. You finally find something good enough to shine people out in the evening. Your clothes suit your pedantic ways. You rush back home. All the ancillary light bulbs, light ropes and all those Ladis are switched on. They've been put on for 3-4 days now but todays is the day they're meant to be on. It all looks beautiful and scenic.You see that everyone is already engaged in getting ready for the Pooja. Gangajal is being spread all over the place, Diya wicks are being prepared by plunging and rolling them in Ghee and some Diyas are being filled with oil.

And just then you recall, that your procrastination is worthy of getting a noble prize if there were one. You forgot to buy the damn crackers. What's a Diwali without a pack of some crackers ? You rush to the market again, this time more happy because cracker prices come down in the eleventh hour. But yes you're careful enough while walking. Who knows what someone might throw at you on the curve. You get back to see that all the Pooja preparations are done and now the scent of the incense sticks and smoldering Diyas is filling the entire place. But once again, you're too indulged to witness that invigorating splendor. You need to look at the guests and concentrate on the Pooja and what your arch rivals in the neighborhood are planning to do, all at the same time. The religious duties are over. The stage is all set for dancing on the songs and bursting all the crackers.

You fire them, pop them, spill them and then sprawl them. Some of the crackers may be fervid, but all of them have an amazing celerity. You not only watch them burn and glow and cause tonnes of pollution which might be doing irrecoverable damage to the planet(Actually every single day we cause 5 times that much pollution so this extra token appears rather minuscule), but your also savor the flagrant, but in your opinion, fragrant smell of those fumes. You simply love them. Perhaps the first time you actually acknowledge and garner some aroma, it's this. It seems titillating. And suddenly, all aromas become apparent. Even the aroma of a burning candle can't escape as you seek its services while lighting another candle or a lighting spark. And after the torrid and tiring fireworks sessions are over, you gather with the family on the dinner table. The delicacies whose aroma induced you to sleep, now bring the connoisseur out of you. You laud and gormandize every single bit of it, while appreciating the aroma of it as well.

While you go to sleep, still hearing a few occasional shots bursting in the sky every now and then till 4:10 in the morning, you contemplate all that happened and are happy for most of how you spent it. You did spend it very well actually but you did miss out on what was right there to be devoured - the aroma of the flowers, the food, the colorful ingredients, the Diyas, the candles, the Gangajal, the incense sticks, and even that of the entire atmosphere.All these individual fragrances come together to create an ultimate combination which is characteristic of every occasion. So, the next time when you celebrate a festival, don't just let the spectacle stay limited to your eyes or your ears, let your nostrils take some role as well. Smell, inhale and pester your spirits with that manumitting air. I've experienced it before, now it's your turn. don't just celebrate festivals and life's occasions, breathe them and then live them. 

This post was written with the intent of submission towards AmbiPur & Indiblogger's Smelly To Smiley blogging drive. Here's the link to their Facebook Page.