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?