Of celebrations and the mundane

So the festivities came to an end today.

Well, at least for now. Ganesh Chaturthi is in September, Durga Puja in October, and Diwali in November. The festive season is on!

The odd thing about festivals is that the very next day feels very mundane, very ordinary. After the running around and preparations and celebrations…it almost feels anti-climatic.

And when the festival revolves around your kula-devta, even more. Because there is a very intimate feeling to that celebration. Your emotions are involved, not just are formalities. You pray from the heart, your whole being celebrates.

Hence the draining effect the next day. Well, what if life was a celebration?

What if we celebrated every day, from the moment we woke up (wow, I didn’t die in my sleep!) till the time we lay down to sleep (wow, I made it through the day and spent it well!). Now, that is an attitude that not many can have, but what if…

What if we looked at everything we went through as mere experiences?

यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ ।
समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते ॥ १५ ॥

yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ
so ’mṛtatvāya kalpate

Bhagavad Gita 2.15

O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.

How many of us can be not disturbed by sadness or happiness? How many of us can remain unaffected by our experiences, and just go through life celebrating the beauty of being?

A question may arise. What fun can life be without emotions?

Well, I didn’t say no emotions. I said – unaffected, not swayed by them. Emotions are to be experienced, not dwelt over. Some of us are still sad because of things that happened years ago. We still relive those moments again and again, and feel disturbed again and again. Remember, the brain does not know what is actually happening and what is imagined. If you feel it, the brain thinks of it as real. That is why you feel disturbed when you feel sad thinking about things that happened a long while back.

So, what if we celebrated each day, rather than looking forward to specific days and then feeling lost all over again?

It is very difficult, for you and for me…but not impossible. Life is meant to be lived, in joy and fun and laughter…in peace and tranquility, in community and family…not merely going through the motions and smiling just once in a while.

So don’t wait till Gannu bhai comes along. Its still 10 days more. That is quite a lot of time to stay sad and sober.

Let the celebration of life begin!