It's hard not to be enchanted by the myriad Hindu festivals, each more fascinating than the previous, each with a distinct story from our rich mythology and with a distinct message from our deep scriptures. I can't say that I have a favorite festival, but do feel like Dussehra has an edge over the others. Think about it- it's a story of good over evil. Hard to resist that one. Then, especially in the north, there are performances of Ram-Leela, the colourful, folksy dramatisation of the Ramayana. This is followed by an elaborate burning of Rawaan's giant effigy. Nothing like symbolism for drilling home a message! I've been to several as a child, and I can't even begin to put in words that feeling of celebration when Ravaan, the epitome of evil, catches fire and burns to ashes.
As India modernises, let's keep these traditions alive for our children. Many of these festivities were the basis for thousands of rich forms of artistry in every medium conceivable- wood, metals, terracotta and textiles. Culture is ever-changing, always adapting. It's up to us what we choose to nurture. Happy Dassehra, all!
Eight years ago, we started a tradition in Pune, one that Punekars love for its energy and uniqueness- the Diwali Late Night Bazaar. We had the first one on a whim. For four days, the week prior to Diwali, we'd spread out our beautiful range of furniture and home decor in our equally beautiful gardens! Plus, we'd throw our lawns open to other exhibitors, who brought in jewelry, apparel and more home decor. The Bazaar stayed open till midnight, a merry mix of excited exhibitors and shoppers, street food stalls, musicians and yes, dedicated staff, who often reached home way past midnight. We subsequently changed the timing to 10 pm, and moved from four days to three, not because of a dearth of visitors, but because it simply got too tiring. Of course, everyone at Sanskriti Lifestyle loved the energy and enthusiasm of customers strolling even at that late hour! Now, eight years later, we are gearing up for our 8th Diwali Late Night Bazaar (18- 20 October). Watch this space for images of products on display at the Bazaar. We hope Pune enjoys the event as much as we enjoy hosting it!