Saturday, September 13, 2008
Back are the days...!
The much awaited festival is round the corner. And this time around, I am embittered as I am miles away from the celebrations. And I am already envious of those who will have the opportunity to indulge in nine day night festivity when country’s only dry state will come alive.
I was born in a State, where means to unwind after hard days work is an unfound luxury. I did my schooling, college and post graduation in Gujarat. I found my first ‘naukri’ and ‘Chokri’ both in this Gandhian State, it’s a different matter though that I could not retain it for too long.
While entertainment was a far fetched idea for us, it was a group of like minded people who came together to give vent to their brimming passion in life. Basically our group comprised of those disillusioned and disgruntled soldiers who never took classroom studies seriously. We relentlessly performed and showed our moves at all functions and competitions.
Well for us that remained the only form of entertainment as till date there is no existence of pubs and discotheques in Gujarat, thanks to Gujarat’s prohibition laws. And hence no regular parties happening or no night outs with girlfriends… Parties’ to you are as unlikely to happen as thought of prohibition free state with unrestricted booze flow. And a couple of remaining hangouts are invariably forced down before 10.30 pm by those paunch bearing khakhi clad men.
But all that did not deter us from raising a toast or shaking a leg or two on friends’ terrace on all possible occasions. The real entertainment though was those nine days of ‘Navratri’ - the only festival of nine days in a year when the city’s nightlife could put even a die hard Newyorker to shame.
It was so much fun. Be it standing in a serpentine long queue for those male passes for Garba or those jostles at the venue to take an entry into the Ground, all those efforts seemed so worth it. While most of the men (count me in) would visit the Ground to ogle at those lovely Gujju guls with backless cholis, it was amazing to see how an otherwise dreadful looking woman would turn in her strikingly hot and modish avtar under those arc lights.
For many it was not just about swinging to the tunes but a platform to find their perfect match in the crowd of those zealous revelers. I still remember how I religiously picked my girlfriend from her home and dropped her way back after Garba hours. This was the only time when I got official sanction from the girlfriends’ parents to pick and drop her. At the hindsight, I think, perhaps those were the best times of my life.
Twelve years of religiously participating in one of India’s prominent and well-known Navratri Events, United Way of Garba, it feels so dreadful that I am not in Gujarat on the 13th year. It is completely nostalgic now, sitting in Bangalore.
As the days are inching near, I still smell the distinctive aroma emanating from the brightly lit Garba ground, drone those favourite songs on which we exhibited our Garba skills and of course miss my girlfriends who cordially made efforts to match steps with me….:)