Navarathri is behind us and I breathe easier. Navarathri – nice days of carb-loading, pujas, Golu hopping, shying away from singing (From Wikipedia: In Tamil Nadu, people set up steps and place idols on them. This is known as golu. Photos of typical golu displayed in Tamil Nadu style can be found here.In the evening women in neighborhood invite each other to visit their homes to view Kolu displays, they exchange gifts and sweets.)
You see, I have never been one of those artsy creative type of folks. I have seen folks carve a beautiful statue of Buddha out of a potato and I watch in awe. When I see a potato, I see a potato. In my creative moments, I see a potato-curry or a mashed potato. But there it stops.
Navarathri, it seems, comes along to show me what all avenues are there for the creatively inclined, and how very demented I am along those lines. It would be one thing if I could just withstand 9 days of this and then go back to my lack-a-daisical ways. But it refuses to let up. Navarathri is quickly followed by Halloween decorations and then Diwali lights followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Some of my friends during Navarathri not only put up 9 steps full of dolls, they create themes around them, they have a side show of modern themes, and themes around their past themes. Maybe somebody should try the vegetable carving motif the next time around.
My theme is more practically suited to my ability: why bother? It seems better to go and enjoy the displays so painstakingly put up by the brave-hearted and creative-minded. My theme has been confused for lazy, but I say I am being gallant. If not for folks like us, who would appreciate all the work that goes into a Golu?
Facebook showed me Golu attempts in Chennai, New Delhi, San Jose, Seattle, Norway and Ghuangzhou Province in China. WhatsApp gave me blow by blow accounts of others doing it and mildly urged me to try my hand at it sometime. But I am made of sterner stuff. I admired everybody’s attempts, but am steadfast in not adding my own feeble attempts to the grander themes.
My daughter, who had a fantastic time with her friends eating the different varieties of rices and sundals (chickpea salads) laid out in hordes at the Golus asked me why I did not join in the fun. I pointed her to my past attempts at decorative splendor (being put up as Part 2 of this blog ) and she gave me a gentle look filled with pity, and a pat and said, “Oh Amma! I know you are quite useless at decorating, it’s okay!”
In our household, we skip, dance and thump our chests, looking proud when we arrange cereal boxes in a line like this, and if you visit, we can pluck one box and feed you with it: