Festival for the Soul

Over the past year, there has been a surge in both literary festivals and eager book enthusiasts attending them. I don’t blame them. In a time where books stores are perilously on the verge of extinction and one seldom comes across people who take unrestrained joy in the humble art of reading, it is quite justified for the endangered lot to try and seek others of their kind.

Book lovers have always taken immense pride in their love for literature. And it cannot be denied that they don’t miss any opportunity for preaching it. After all, it is a morally and emotionally uplifting experience, to live someone else’s life through pages.
I have myself not have had the honor of attending a Lit fest till now. But my imagination has teleported me to one plenty of times. My eyes twinkle and my heart leaps at the thought of seeing Markus Zusak or Stephen Chbosky.
Or the more coveted spirits of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Tolkien for that matter.

The mere thought of standing under the same roof with the person who gave you a story to live is enough to make me seethe. People who gave us timeless heroes to count on. And in whose fictional company, we never felt alone.

I have to mention that once in 2013 I had the great privilege of meeting Ruskin Bond. Probably one of the greatest short story writers alive in our times. The funny thing is, I always envisaged and framed all the various questions I’d ask him (if I ever met him) but upon seeing him, it all blacked out. All my brain could calibrate was the fact that I was sitting next to a man who gave us a childhood. And it was a while when I realised I had to breathe.

Despite the giddy feeling of being in the presence of an author there are plenty other things that make a lit fest stand out. The most adored being in the presence of other bookworms. The ‘endangered specie’ I mentioned above. People who wallow in literature as much as you do.
People who appreciate words over a tv screen. Who, like you, have also resorted to reading to find an escape from the vast, recluse and solitary world of social media. They’re not found in pubs or malls, neither will they be found on the streets dominated by a society of burgeoning extroverts.
They will be found amassed at places like a lit fest. Thus it gives us the pleasure of being in cherished propinquity with others of our kind. We share, discuss, laugh and most of all are relieved that we’re not alone.

New books are discovered, new ideas unearthed and new perspectives are brought to light. Something these ostensible online bookstores cannot provide you. There’s only so much options an online portal can give, for there’s always a hurry of putting things in your ‘cart.’

Unlike a regular festival that caters to your need of worldly pleasures, a Literary Festival is a festival for your mind and soul. It nurtures your need for bookish pleasure and welcomes your enthusiasm for words.
Not everyone can enjoy that place. Only the voracious readers will feel at home. Only they will feel among family.

In a world where almost everything is either transformed or elevated to a trend, literature still remains a most raw and un-tarnished form of pleasure.
It’s not like it wasn’t tried and tested by the growing likes of pretentious freaks. But they couldn’t succeed in glamourising it.

Thank God literature requires brains to understand it.

It is both a relief and felicity to know that in a world outrageously dominated by hashtags and filters, there still are some humble souls who appreciate the power of words.

Have a great week ahead!

Merry December

Alright I’m sure all my fellow bloggers are pretty busy and occupied these days. Basking in the spirit of festive cheer and the placidity of this fine winter season. ‘Tis the holiday season, indeed! I just thought I’m obliged to write a closing post for this year.  For we stand on the dusk of yet another fantastic, high-spirited, exhilarating year and boy has it taught us some precious lessons.

Okay, so five days when we’d have officially hit ’16.

Wow. I’ll just let that sink in.

I love how cheery the air around you gets this time of the year. Even though I do not celebrate Christmas physically, but in my heart I send a prayer to actually do celebrate it someday. And of course the mighty internet gives me detailed insight of how the world out there is celebrating it. So that keeps me going.

I’d like to babble minutely about how this year has turned out for me but seriously? No.

In a nutshell,
2015 gave me my fair share of highs and lows, fortunately all well balanced. I met a couple of new AMAZING people who love me and what I write and have been ever supportive of me throughout. And even though I got totally lost in between, they had my back. Showing me the right way (and telling me that I wasn’t insane.) Thank you God for this.

I developed more hopeless fictional crushes by reading more and more books thus eliminating any single chances of I ever finding a real man. (OHMYGOD I TOTALLY FORGOT TO WRITE ABOUT MR. DARCY?! WHAT EVEN?) Next post will be about him then.

I finally cooked an entire full-fledged Indian meal for my dad without having to call the fire department. (Well mom was out of town so guess who had to be the woman of the house?)

At last got the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows locket and the entire Lord of the Rings book-set I had been coveting (both gifted by two amazing people.)

Also you absolutely wonderful and amazing WordPress angels who manage to read my gibberish and give me so much love managed to make ‘Brooding in the Tepid Dusk’ officially hit 10,ooo blog hits. This Is Amazing. How will I ever thank you people?

All these things have amalgamated to form one huge, grateful and blessed year.

I’d also like to mention in brief on how just like every year, I’ll once again be stepping into a new year as a modified person. New thoughts installed. Memory refreshed. Superfluous feelings exterminated. Spirits rejuvenated and the previously installed files re-arranged. I hope I come off as a better person than I was this year.

So that’s it for me.

I hope you make the best of ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’
I hope your food is warm and your drinks are sublime. I hope your year ends with the happiest of spirits and that you may carry that happiness with you into the next year.
I hope you look back and be truly gratified with what you have.
And if by some ill-fate you cannot, I pray happiness and love finds you. Thank you.

Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year guys.

I’ll see you all in 2016. 🙂

 

Happy Diwali!

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Okay so although I’m incredibly busy today with the final preparations for the evening and the wrapping and opening of the presents and stuff-I took out the time to wish each one of you (because I love you all) a very very happy, prosperous and glittering Diwali.

Even though you won’t celebrate it you’re all still a part of this felicity with me and I’m more than happy to share this day with you all.

Loads of blessings from India to anyone reading this post. 🙂

Happy Diwali. 🙂

Incredible India

“Jai! Did you call the electrician in the morning? If you haven’t then do it this instant, there’s work to be done for God’s sake!!” said the broad shouldered, handsome and brown eyed dad of two talented teenagers. Ma could be seen working in the kitchen with the maid. So many delicacies had to be prepared. One could hear the slow crackling of Jeera in the vessel and the white washed walls of the house were consumed by the ravishing smell of Indian spices.

The halwai was comfortably seated in the backyard, simmering ghee for the preparation of sweets-to be offered to the God’s and Goddesses. Ganesh and Laxmi to be precise.

DIWALI was around the corner. In the mornings almost every house was showered with paint and white-wash, cleaning each and every corner of their homes, dusting and wiping off the dirt for the ‘Grand Festival.’ And the evenings comprised of electricians embellishing the houses with fancy lights, making them scintillate and glimmer, vibrant colors like that of a newly wed Indian bride.

It’s festivities like these that make me sit back and marvel at how amazing my country truly is. How much love and celebration we have. How each and every occasion is celebrated with love and colors! In this mundane and monotonous lifestyle of humans, it is imperative to have a break. It is absolutely necessary to lay down and be jubilant! And what is better than festivals to do so?

Since I’m incredibly fortunate to have followers from so many different countries, I feel it is my job to let them know where I come from and what extraordinary surprises my country dwells. So I’m going to take you all down this ride, and try my best to make you see and experience things from my eyes.

So above I just gave a brief introduction of the innumerable preparations that precede one of the countless festivals in India called- Diwali. Why I’m emphasizing on Diwali?

Because, my dear followers, it is my absolute favorite festival and has managed to retain this position since the day the four year old me saw those electric lights festoon the walls of my house, blinking towards me, on-off-on-off, I still remember I gazed at them like they were a miracle created by man. And I confess that even after 18 years I still am the first person to scamper to the terrace and proudly switch ‘ON’ those beautiful, glistening LIGHTS and just stare at them with wonder.

To give you all a slight idea, this is how a house looks on the eve of Diwali, after the complete decoration. 🙂

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Lovely, right?

And now the question pops up, why am I writing about a festival all of a sudden? Answer is, because the first week of October marks the beginning of our festivals. With Dussehra on October 4th following Durga Puja which precedes the majestic Diwali on October 23rd.

And because of the absolutely amazing blog friend that I am, for you all, I will be posting pictures from all the carnivals that I visit, all the rides I scream on, all the various places I go, all the shopping I do, and all the preparations that will be made at my own home and then will give you snapshots of the whole procedure of the worship of our deities.

1 week before Diwali I will tell you the story of why Diwali is actually celebrated (unless you google it-please don’t, I really want to narrate).

And on the final evening of Diwali, the sky is studded with lights making the stars seem pale. The night sky is ornamented with golden jewellry and it feels like the night is dancing and twirling, seemingly happy from looking irrevocably beautiful that particular night. The houses are decorated with the finest centerpieces and lamps, diyas and chandeliers. Candles are lit at every nook and corner of the house. So many lights, isn’t it? Did I tell you that it is also called ‘The Festival of Lights?’ Anyway, I’ll talk vividly about that 1 week before Diwali. 🙂

One can hear the low whistle of a rocket someone launched somewhere far, and countless people get to relish its sparks and luminescence. The slow rumble of a cracker or just the laughter of friends and family celebrating and spreading the joy.

 

An example of how the sky looks that one night on October:

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Magnificent isn’t it?

Every year I do not fail to go on my terrace alone-in the rush hour of  Diwali-and just stare at the sky and somewhere inside silently thank the almighty for making me witness such a breathtaking view. Definitely for making me an Indian and most important of all, for these exuberant festivals he has blessed us with, which restore my faith in humanity and sometimes a soft wind brushes my hair-that’s God saying ‘You’re Welcome.’