Today being Vijayadasami marks the last day of Navaratri. The day before the start of Navaratri, there I was, busy cleaning and clearing my poojai shelves, washing the brass idols and polishing my silver kunguma chimizh (kumkum holder) and chandana pElA (sandal paste holder) and getting other things ready for Navaratri.
I kick-started Navaratri celebrations this year starting from Sunday when we invited the first of the guests. From then on, it has been a hectic, tiring but a happy week filled with at least two friends visiting us on all days except one when I ended up visiting up two friends of mine. Remind me the next time I tell you that I have only a few friends here in Singapore that I actually have more than just a few and they are all a great set of friends to have around.
Making yummy traditional sweets and sundal, giving the house a quick sweep and a mop, rearranging the furniture to accommodate everyone, giving the wash basins and bathrooms an extra round of cleaning, picking up all the toys before and after everyone visits, making coffee after coffee, seeing my kids have a great time with their friends and not to forget, washing dishes after dishes just so I could leave a clear sink before and after anyone visits.
From planning what sweet and sundal to make to whom to invite when and what gift to give whom and deciding on which saree to wear, each day had me totally wrapped up in Navaratri. The fact that my daughter is having her school holidays this week meant no rushed mornings and I could do things in leisure.
As each day passed by, I realized that I was being less mindful of how much I was talking, though the volume level was normal and not at all high. On Tuesday, I met two of friends after a long time and I actually ended up talking a lot. Though I kept sipping warm water at frequent intervals, I realized that it was the first time that I actually talked that much in the last 3 months. Though in the following days, I didn’t talk beyond one sentence at a time, a friend today remarked that I talked with her today more than I did the last month when I met her. From the moment when she left till right now, I have kept my talking to minimal.
In the whole of this week, I have been practicing minimal talking for significant chunks of time either before and after anybody visits or after every time when I felt I talked more than I should.
I wrote at the start of the week about my improving patience levels. It continues to improve and more importantly, does not manifest itself in the form of yelling or shouting or whining. In a way, I think I am more on the road to acceptance of the fact that these chores are mine to do and I just should not complain about anything.
As the last set of friends dropped by today, my daughter remarked, “Nobody will come tomorrow!” Indeed! Socializing regularly is just not our cup of tea and we rarely get visitors or visit others. But, in the last three years, we have made Navaratri synonymous with inviting everyone we know here thereby upholding our traditions too. And in this one week we see friends after friends spend time in leisure with us.
In the midst of everything, the only constant yearning in me was to sing. This Navaratri just did not feel like Navaratri without singing. It is only when you cannot or should not do something that you realize its value even more. I definitely did not sit down and practice every day. All I did was just sing or hum whenever I felt like.
Saraswati Puja and Vijayadasami are indeed the apt days to focus on all your skills and even as I pray to the Goddess thanking Her for bestowing me with several skills and seeking Her blessing for learning and mastering a lot more, I wish you too all the very best in everything that you do!
P.S.: More than anything else, on this Vijayadasami, I wanted to write something on my blog.