The Best of Worlds?

Dear R

I think you have the best of most worlds as far as Navratri is concerned.

Our house is one of those examples of what you can call a melting pot of different cultures put together.

You get to know of Garbas like ‘pankhida rey udi jajo pavagadh rey’ thanks to a Garba-crazy mom..and you get to know that there is a culture of keeping dolls on steps and making lovely tasty sundals thanks to your roots..

and then of course thanks to the Bong connection that your father has, you got to taste the absolutely superb bhog at the Durga Puja we went to on Saptami..

I doubt many children in the world can enjoy such a culturally rich environment.

For someone who claims not to be religious, your Amma is trying hard to introduce you to various aspects of celebrations.

Our showcase currently adorns the lovely small dolls which your baroda thatha got from Iran just to give you a flavor of Golu. Funny how dolls from Iran fall into the Golu category. And then Amma gets up to make one sundal everyday for you. Though you never eat it. But hey, give me some points for trying eh? and then how Amma tries to put Kolam everyday just outside the door. Yesterday, you told me that the Kolam I had put was small but nice. Thank you da, you seem to be the only one to notice. The other member of our household is often lost in thoughts while getting in and out of the house.

And then the day, you had Garba at your daycare. Remember how Amma jumped in to do a few steps and all you kids were laughing at me. But I am glad there is a sense of rhythm you have when you are doing Garba. Very important da, to have that…one of the things I dream about once in a while is doing Garba with you. I know its very far fetched and by the time you are a teen, you would rather NOT have me around you, but one advantage of being a mother is that we can always dream on eh? Such stuff is what makes motherhood worth it na

and then when Appa took us to the Durga Puja on Sunday evening, we had a mini lesson on Durga umachi na..

and  you want to know why Durga umachi has birthday for 9 days, but Krishna umachi only for 1 day..well, some advantage these Goddesses have na

and then Appa proved to be such a typical engineer when he tried to explain to you how all Goddesses come from the ‘same base’ *Rolling eyes*

Same base – I mean, how can you even think of a word like that to describe the Goddess..though you did very intellectually hmmmm to that explanation..well its between you and Appa darling 🙂

and then we had this conversation, which you asked me so enthusiastically, but somehow we couldnt continue it. Not because you didnt have more questions, but because your Amma ran out of answers da.

R: Toh Amma, agar durga ne mahisasur ko maar diya, toh usse kya hua
RM: Errr…the evil person is supposed to go away and things will become happy
R: Toh Amma, sab duniya mein evil is gone now, since Durga umachi (Bhagwan) is killofying all bad people?
RM: well, ah well

and then the fact that we live in Bombay, opens you to a new culture of wearing a colour on each day of Navratri. When you go slightly older, you will start enjoying this. AS you step out, you see a wave of red on one day, or a sea of green on another. You will know that a red can have millions of shades to it and the blue of the sky is so different from the blue of the water which is so different from the royal blue on that aunty’s saree. You will see women dressed in similar colours making you wonder if you reached a different world. and trust me, women in Bombay are the most enthused I have seen. Its a different kind of a celebration with colours darling.

Remember baby, how ever you celebrate Navratri, just do it with loads of fun. Its a festival when the good triumphs over the evil and its a festival that a Goddess who personifies strength and brains and goodness is celebrated. Its a festival where you can let your hair down any part of India you are in, and its a festival where its the easiest to socialise. Its a festival where you get the best of foods and its a festival where you can celebrate the joy of being human.

Its a festival, I hope, you enjoy to the fullest in whatever land you are in.

I hope in our house, you grow up to be tolerant to all religions, respect other people’s perspective and always remember that God is who you want him/her to be. I hope you realise that religion is not about following rituals but religion is what you make of it personally.I hope you realise that whichever way or manner you celebrate any festival, the bottomline is love, respect for the other person’s view and of course fun and food 🙂

Loads of love
Amma

PS – No, you are not getting any new clips to match with that Chaniya choli. sorry!

========

On a completely different note (well not too different) Saffrontree’s annual fest of Crocus starts today  *Insert high excitement* super great interviews, awesome reviews and this one is based on Math and Science, so I am sure it will be really interesting!

and they are also having a book drive..go check it out and do contribute if you can.

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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47 Responses to The Best of Worlds?

  1. Amit says:

    //he tried to explain to you how all Goddesses come from the ‘same base’
    I think it is an apt definition. In fact all the Gods in all the religions come from the same base. Its like the .NET framework. You can run all the compatible languages in it. Sometimes life can be explained so easily in computer languages and its code. 😛
    I have heard of Golu for the first time. So it is just a collection of dolls?

  2. deepM says:

    I Just loved your today’s post. I hope someday when we will have a kid i could teach her/him same values as you have been teaching R.

    Very nice post RM! 🙂

  3. Jazz says:

    But why RM amma, why can’t I get some new clips to match my Chaniya choli. 😀

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post, RM. Totally loved it. Echoes my thoughts entirely, especially this part: I hope in our house, you grow up to be tolerant to all religions, respect other people’s perspective and always remember that God is who you want him/her to be. I hope you realise that religion is not about following rituals but religion is what you make of it personally.I hope you realise that whichever way or manner you celebrate any festival, the bottomline is love, respect for the other person’s view and of course fun and food.

    I hope R will grow to be very proud of you, and of the liberal thinking you have taught her to do.

    As much as this post makes me happy, it is making me sad that this year, the festival season is just not feeling like festival season to me. One day is just the same as another for me – work, home, eat, sleep, read. I don’t know what to do to make things different, but I do know that I want to do something. 😦 Missing my family badly too. 😦

    BTW we have holiday today for Ayudha Pooja. One more tradition of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu you might to tell R about. 🙂

    Festivals always stupefy me about the 1000s of different ways they are celebrated in different parts of the world. Amazing, no? And dolls from Iran being kept in a South Indian golu – I have always been amazed by that, too. 🙂

    I have also had the benefit of cultural diversities that you talk about in this post – Gujarat, Chennai and now Karnataka. I hope I am able to pass on the feeling of awe about different cultures, and tolerance for them, too, to my kids.

    It is really amazing that in spite of not being a very religious person, you make sundal and put kolam to explain our various cultures to R. Kudos to you!

    LOL @ Killofying. 😀

    ROFL @ ‘same base’. He really tried to explain it that way?! Maybe you should put up the entire conversation for our benefit. 😉

    I’d better stop before this comment becomes any longer. I have written almost a post here. Maybe I should think of expanding on these views on my blog. I would love to. Let me see…

  5. My Era says:

    Indeed a melting pot of many cultures put together….R is one blessed child 🙂
    😆 on remembering to tell her that she is not getting matching clips.
    But I got a question on dressing in a different color everyday and that too all wearing same color together. How is the color scheme of the day communicated? Is it announced at the end of the Garba (I mean color of next day?)

    • R's Mom says:

      Well, usually they put up the colours of the 9 days in the newspapers…Its a very Maharashtrian custom..not Gujarati..so they have it across key Marathi newspapers before Navratri starts

      • My Era says:

        Wow! I like that 🙂

      • I wanted to ask the same question that ME did. The whole of Mumbai follows a certain colour scheme for all of 9 days?! Wow! Does the whole city really follow it?! What unity, in that case!! And who decides the colour scheme? Is it different every year?
        I didn’t know about this custom before I read of it on your blog. Thanks for the info!

        • R's Mom says:

          Errr…I am not sure who decides the colour and whether its the same every year..never paid attention..but yaa..most people do follow the colour code..not ALL but most do definitely 🙂

  6. Raji says:

    Such a beautiful post. I love navarathri and totally agree with you that it is great time for socializing. We had a Lalitha Sahasranamam and haldi kumkum in our office followed by prasadam dinner. We had about 65 guests and I enjoyed doing shopping and cooking for the event.

  7. Arch says:

    RM, a really nice amma you are. I love how you show the best of everything to R. RM, what colour is her chaniya choli? My first one was a bright yellow with red puttas all over 🙂

  8. meenamenon says:

    I guess thts the advantage gen-next hv as their parents were themselves bought up outside home state! U know this infectious post of urs really sets the tone for the festival season 🙂

  9. ashreyamom says:

    mix of cultures at times is so much fum na.. kids learn more.. wow RM u are putting different different kolam?? lol on same base.. 🙂
    ppl dress up in same colour?/ wow.. i am nt able to convince my office females to wear traditional cloths for one day..:(

  10. Pepper says:

    Loveeelly! I feel so happy to be a part of this festive atmosphere and celebration.

  11. metherebel says:

    Wow…R is indeed a lucky child 🙂 She gets to see different cultures and she is blessed with a mo like you 🙂 Lovely post RM!

  12. Gayatri says:

    Hey, Its a shame you did not mention earlier about the clips. I got some new ones in the hope that I can post them in my next trip to India. I could have sent them now (and they would have matched the chaniya choli too!)..Its not fair that R does not get matching clips for her dress. Festivals are meant for children to dress up in new clothes and have fun (puja and naivedyam included but they are extra bits). Do let me know what you have bought for R for Deepavali. Happy Navaratri and Vijayadasami.

    • R's Mom says:

      arey please Gayatri..you have been sweet enough to send across stuff for her once..and oh we do use it regularly especially the butterfly wala rubber bands 🙂

  13. anisnest says:

    this is an excellent post that so nicely describes festival, culture and God to the kid RM.. loved this post..

  14. I miss so much India reading this festival post, you an awesome inspiration RM, you cooking so much daily during these festival season. And R is so lucky to be in Mumbai to experience all these festivals and fun. I am sure these will be best days when she look back. And you deserve lot of credit making it memorable. Can you buy that matching clip for R from me, I will pay you OK?

    • R's Mom says:

      arey inspiration kuch nahi rey…I just made sundals 😉 easy wala recipe :):)

      LOL on paying me for the clips…okie okie..next time will do that heheeheh 🙂

  15. Anusha says:

    Awesome post RM… loved the message you are trying to give R!

  16. Tanishka says:

    I sooo enjoyed reading every bit of it.. R is really luck to have an opportunity to see so many different cultures and traditions together… 🙂

  17. Sreetama says:

    Awesome letter for R! Am so glad that R is exposed to such varieties of cultures of this festival which is so cherished by us! Fyi, I had fuchkas & egg rolls on ur behalf! 😀

  18. chattywren says:

    Nice post RM! Indeed R is blessed to see a festival celebrated in so many different ways. I think most places are now a cultural pot-pourri and if one keeps an open mind, one can really learn so much about our diverse culture, plus have fun:) I was unaware about wearing a different colour for each 9 days in Mumbai – hmm, as usual lived in a different world when I was there!

    • R's Mom says:

      no, I think this 9 colours is a pretty recent phenomena rey…I hadnt heard of it earlier..or may be like you I lived in a different world as well eh?

  19. chipmunk says:

    happy happy happy 🙂 🙂 no matter which doll 🙂 god doesn’t see discretion 🙂 everything comes from his creation 🙂 so keep anything and everything which u have 🙂 🙂 smiles 🙂 thanks for keeping gollu 😉 R can go as a journalist ! she s questioning at all her possible ways 🙂 🙂 if she s a one who comes out as my wish den i am sure, future indian politicians life are at stakes 😀 good that every one wear a unison color every day haven’t realised this before!

  20. Ashwathy says:

    Take my word on this one. The cultural melting pot and the traditions/incidents surrounding it, will go on to become priceless childhood memories for her…. which she will one day recite to her own children. You are on the right track RM.
    P.S.: Remind me to bring my own kids to you as well!

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