Navratri Memories

Well, Navratri is back, and it brings with it a whole host of memories. When you have been experienced Navratri in the land of Dandiya and Raas Garba – Gujarat – you can’t help but miss the vibrant celebrations when you’re away. I am no exception.

I miss that hustle and bustle everywhere – as people do their last minute Navratri shopping at Law Garden and Teen Darwaza for chaniya cholis and dandiyas and oxidised jewellery. I miss that passion in the eyes of people – the blood in their bodies beginning to dance as soon as the dhol starts. I miss starting work late and finishing early – so that people can leave all their worries behind and dance away the whole night. Though I was never a dancer, garba or otherwise, I miss watching the rush of colours and the loud music and the mirror work and decorations as people swirl around to the tunes of garba or raas.

That said, I’m learning about a new way of life here. I’m learning about the way Navratri is celebrated here – in the South of India. I’m learning to love the passion of the people here to decorate their houses with the best Golu in town. I’m learning to love the sundal and sakkarai pongal and other delicacies offered to the Gods all nine nights of Navratri. We don’t have the tradition of keeping Golu at my in-laws’ place, but I had the chance of visiting one of my aunts who keeps a fantastic Golu every year. And I fell in love with her Golu this year. Pics to follow soon. 🙂

I was missing Ahmedabad and the garbas and the festivities so much that I decided to catch up with some of my favourite garbas on You Tube. I’ve heard these songs blaring on loudspeakers, specially during Navratri, since, like, forever, and am totally in love with them. I thought I should put them up on my blog for posterity. I hope you’ll fall in love with them, too.

Tara vina shyam ekaladu laage

This is a song about a young Gopi missing the handsome Lord Krishna (Shyam), and inviting him to come soon to play Raas with her.


Sanedo is a form of Garba – a highly energetic form, which always has me tapping my feet.

Odhni odhu ne udi udi jaaye

I love, love, love this song. It’s all youth and energy and passion and oozes love. The song begins with a young woman telling her beau that she’s finding it tough to wear her odhni.

Kesariyo rang tane

This is another one of my most favourites. I love the feel of the song – which speaks about the festivities beginning, and about painting the town red, for lack of a better expression.

What are your most favourite Navratri memories, people?



Filed under Music, Occasions

29 responses to “Navratri Memories

  1. Praveen

    Pls check email.

    • priyaiyer


      Thanks a ton for that. I was just about to edit my post and ask about the same. 🙂

      BTW we went to the Garba festival at Palace Grounds last year. It was nice.

  2. Navarathri – didn’t mean much some 3-4 years back..since then quite something..memories and so on..shall elaborate sometime later at leisure in a comment if ok 🙂

    • priyaiyer


      Oh yes, why not? But would love to read it as a post on your blog as well.

      BTW I believe you have a tag pending from me, right?

  3. Praveen

    Even I have one pending I guess. Will try to do it soon

  4. We also don’t have the tradition of keeping Golu in our house, but there is no restriction for sundal and sakkarai pongal. When I was in school, I would be craving for the day of Saraswathi Puja when we were supposed to keep some of the books for the Puja in front of the deity and you could take them back the next day(Vijayadashami) only after performing the rituals. I usually kept all my books for the puja so that I need not have to study the whole day. Every school going student wishes that Saraswathi puja be celebrated through out the year.

  5. Praveen

    Sorry to be posting off topic:

    Kindly forward this to all your friends:

    ‎6 units of A+ blood required every day at Kidwai Institute of Oncology, Bangalore. Please contact Ganesh 9980417151 – it’s for his brother who has blood cancer… please make sometime to donate else inform all your friends… thanks

  6. Swaram

    Kesariyo rang tane is my favvvv. My Mom ws brought up in Ahmedabad, so hv a lot of memories associated with that place, as told/ shown to me by Mom 🙂 🙂
    Happy Navratri to u 🙂 🙂

    • priyaiyer


      It feels good to know of so many people who have a connection with Ahmedabad, all thanks to the blog world. 🙂

      Happy Navrathri to you, too!

  7. Yes, shall do the tag – the gender stereotypes one..needs some thinking 🙂

    And btw on an impulse rarely seen in me, made a post on Navarathri right away somehow 🙂


  8. givingreadingachance

    It is a wish of mine to be in Gujarat at this time… would love to experience it 🙂
    One thing, I am not the kind of person who accepts a celebration in a different mode than the one I am used to, I know very bad of me… but I mostly am disappointed. But nowadays I have taken it in my stride and enjoy whatever, however 🙂

    One thing about Navratri I miss is… on Ashttami/Navami – getting up early morning as a kid and running off to all the neighboring houses….. we were the Devis 🙂 and got loads of presents with the prasad. Poor aunties would wait for us before they could even drink water. For me it was always the gifts they gave 🙂

    • priyaiyer


      That was a fun read. Thanks! 🙂
      I usually have no problems accepting the different ways in which festivals are celebrated. I just love exploring different traditions and festivities at different places – the diversity is what I love about the Indian culture. 🙂
      And it definitely is an experience to be in Gujarat at the time of Navratri – one worth having in a lifetime. You should do that sometime.

    • Veens I agree. I remember coming out of the houses and counting all the “loot” 😀

  9. Garba….ahhhh…long time ago….

  10. Pingback: Navarathri « SATHEJ'S BLOG

  11. Nice 🙂 Festivals do make us nostalgic than usual…
    Dad had a short stint in Gujarat and kept telling that we should visit during navratri… but somehow that hasnt happened yet…

    • priyaiyer


      Yet another blog reader with a Gujarat connection! Feels nice!! 🙂

      Thank you!! And yes, experiencing Navratri in Gujarat is a must-do thing. 🙂

  12. Happy Navratri to you Priya.

    I was hoping you post some Garba/Dandiya tutorials for us…our Garba/Dandiya is next saturday and I really need to learn some moves. 😉

    Very nice post and nice videos.

    • priyaiyer


      Thank you so much, Tanu. Glad you liked the post. Happy Navratri to you, too! 🙂
      Me and Garba tutorials??? Hee hee hee. Rest assured, you’d be better off without my guidance. 😛 I am a pathetic, pathetic, pathetic dancer, when I do dance at all. 😦

      Hope your Garba function goes off well! All the best!!

  13. Anu

    Ahh…Garba!! I’ve seen them only in TV and heard from my friends. Have always loved to visit them and have fun! I know.,…the very music itself will make you tap your feet 🙂
    Happy Navarathri to you too dear!!

  14. Pingback: Navratri 2010 | uniquely priya

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