Nine Stages Of Navratri

Amnesia:

As the festival of nine nights celebrating Ma Durga nears, you start to rethink your last year’s resolve to cater the food, which your husband reminds you of, but ignore.

“No, people loved the thayir vadai! Remember everyone asked for it? It’s just one day a year that I cook for a party. I can do it.”

Scope creep:

Your invitee list keeps expanding like a well-made pair of maternity pants, and gets close to a 100. This is just the ones you “evited”, not counting the ones you have been inviting verbally when you meet them in places.

Reality:

It’s two days before your party, the tasks loom ahead. The house is a mess, the gift bags yet to be assembled (you haven’t even decided what you’re going to buy for gifts, and it’s too late to bulk order on alibaba.com). You wonder what you were smoking when you thought you could do it all, and break out in a massive sweat.

Panic:

The day of your party. You have 10 things on the stove, and the husband you sent out to pick up last minute stuff is taking forever! You seriously consider emailing all 100 of your guests that you’re sick with a stomach flu.

Rage:

The poor husband walks in like a lamb to its slaughter and is ambushed immediately. “Why didn’t you talk me out of this foolishness? I can NEVER depend on you!”

Tears:

As you dissolve into tears, husband calms you down, promises no more cooking EVER for any big parties, and helps. He also has the wisdom to not remind you that he, in fact, had advised you against this at the very beginning. Smart man!

Control:

Things get finally under control after your meltdown. The house sparkles, the dolls are beautiful, all the food is ready and you actually have a few minutes before guests start arriving.

Bliss:

Everyone loves the home-cooked food. The thayir vadai is a big hit. The ladies all look lovely in their pattu sarees, and the jewelry.

Resolution:

As the last guests leave, and you renew your resolve: “We are never doing this again. Definitely catering next year.”

Epilogue:

Ladies, how many of you go through this every year? I know I do, but love every minute of it. I love navratri and my interpretation of it as a festival that celebrates women.

All the women I know, whether they keep Kolu/Golu or not, get slightly insane around this time of the year.

If it’s not overcommitting to visiting everyone’s golu, to the extent that cooking for the family goes by the wayside for nine days, it’s taking on more than you can handle like yours truly.

But it’s absolutely worth it to see all the women dressing themselves and their little girls up in their best silk saris and jewelry, visiting each other’s homes in groups for at least 5 of the 9 days if not every day, gorging on the traditional sundal and other snacks, and in general having a blast. The men know better than not to indulge, support and participate only as required – serving and distributing the sundal, and be there to wipe the tears and the sweat!

Now, almost halfway between last year’s when I’ve had enough time to forget, and this year’s Navratri which is too far away, seemed like the perfect time to laugh about it. Because, come September, I know I’ll be busy!

For more information on this beautiful, meaningful festival, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri

 

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