My festival greetings to all our enthusiastic KWAY readers! Nothing can dampen the spirit of Navratri. Every year, just like everybody else, I look forward to the glory of this celebration of “Shakti”.
As a pediatric intensivist, I spend most of my time with children who heal in the ICU, braving storms along the way. The stethoscope is my perpetual companion in the cacophony of sounds from beeping monitors and ventilators. For someone whose left brain is mostly abuzz, Navratri is the one time it winds down and the right takes over! This time of the year, I wield my paintbrushes instead of the stethoscope and have a great time decorating the house Golu. Stacking up “padis” and “varusais” of Golu dolls is fun. But what makes it special, gratifying and not ”Just-another-Golu”, is when you use your tiny skill set and spark of creativity to give a hand-made upgrade to the inherent beauty of the Golu.
Decorating your walls and Golu padis with handpainted traditional art; hand crafting puppet theatre boxes and castles with throwaway boxes; painting hanging streamers and backdrop settings for the Golu bommais; building your own parks, villages, fairylands; restoring faded paints on heirloom dolls - there’s no dearth of interesting things you can do. This along with the pleasurable dose of keerthanais and hymns one gets to hear when people visit is absolute bliss. A time when you cherish art, music and everything the divine Mother stands for! Isn’t this the very essence of Navratri?
This year apart from the Golu art projects, since I had a little more time in hand, I decided to revamp everything I could lay my hands on at home with a dash of colour. My late grandfather’s old harmonium trunk, an out of shape chowki, not-so-great-looking side tables made from scrap wood that our carpenter just wouldn’t throw away, a junked table top, an old table’s box stretcher, panels of the doors at home – the list is a long one! My inspiration comes from things I see online on several art/decor websites. If I see something I love, I shamelessly blatantly plagiarize it. It feels like an adventure or should I say art(d)venture. I find this uplifting to the soul, just as much as my professional work does to my emotional frame. In a way, on another level, my art becomes a prayer, an offering; using the very gifts the Mother has blessed me with. There couldn’t have been a better time! And to me, this is celebrating the true spirit of Navratri.
Colours and art are honestly magical. To some, art is a way of meditation. Calming and gladdening. To others, a source of fun and lightheartedness. Whatever be the way it connects to you, it is totally worth getting your hands messy for!