We celebrated Lohri/Pongal/Makar Sankranti yesterday.  I think this is the first time I have really put in any effort to make any preparation for any festival.  Till now, it’s always been either of the moms who would be the event manager and we have only showed up as celebrities on the red carpet 🙂 

So this time we went the whole nine yards. We bought all the stuff for the pooja.. and for the bonfire, surfing for “Sunder mundri oye” on the net and the next day for kolam designs.  And cooked all that special festival food. 

Some pics from the day

The Kolam design at the doorstep


Decoration near the hob

 It was just the two of us, and so after the hectic first half of the day… we settled down to watch Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ( for the nth time ) to get that “family family” feeling 🙂 Ya.. I know we could’ve called friends over, but somethings you want to reserve for family, right… even if it means connecting with them through phonecalls and photos that can be shared with them online.

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and festivities are synonymous to me.  I love all the bonhomie, all the relatives gathering, all those customs and traditions, making a big deal of everything, teasing, laughter, guppein and all that. I know it isn’t a la-di-dah movie and yes it is stereotypical in the way it portrays people. Women, you know, smiling homemakers.. the men… gentlemen going to work, the quintessensial dadaji,  the understanding moms-in-law, the sensible, worldly wise moms, the ever smiling, almost friendly servants.. and the feminist in me scoffed at the portrayal. It’s an idealistic fantasy movie. But to be honest with you, career woman, jet-setter in me still loves to watch it…and though I love it..it leaves me unsettled EVERYTIME.

Everytime I watch it, I get this sneaky suspicion that maybe women, who don’t have conflicts about their role in the family, are probably happier than us women, who are constantly arguing, with themselves,  and with the world about perceptions, achievements, roles.. the works. The families do get better looked after, the relationships are stronger, the women are not tired all the time, and there is atleast one person who is not stressed out.  Also I can’t help but envy joint families at least the way I see them in a very idealistic HAHK scenario.

Somewhere deep in my heart, it also makes me wonder about the legacy that I would I be passing on to our kids. Would they really associate a Diwali with preparing lists of patakas, and an evening of Pooja and stories.. or a Pongal with the heavenly aroma of jaggery and kolam on the doorstep. Would they understand what a mausi, mama, bhua, cousins etc mean? Would they have the comfort of knowing that they are in a circle of a lot of loving adults who care for them and love them and dote on them with all their heart?

Somehow felt that “Life”.. as in “Life” that is festivals, and family and banter, and phone calls and gossip and people coming over, and tolerance, is getting lost in the whirlwind of deadlines and 8X8 schedules.  It didn’t feel like it was worth the things we were sacrificing.

I also realized that this is how it is with the entire generation. And that maybe life as we know it, is changing. Our parents knew a different life as children than the one they lived as adults, which was the life we lived as kids, and sorely miss in our adult lives. The problem is that I don’t know what to hold on to, from the life I had lived, that I would like to my kids to enjoy someday. And I worry that I will lose out on something really valuable, if I don’t figure it out soon enough.

Do you ever get that sort of feeling?

Edited to add:

One more resolution for this year.. to go all out to celebrate all things worth celebrating… with as many friends/relatives as possible, and to celebrate all festivals with all the customs and traditions around it. 🙂