So I travelled around 12 kms from my place, within my city, recently, to attend a part of festivities of one of the most awaited festivals in India, Durga Puja or what is also known as Nav Ratri in some parts of the country. I have been wanting to visit a Durga Puja pandal (tent or a designated place), as it is called in our part of the world, for eternity. Finally I did. Luckily for me, a couple of my best friends are Bengalis, who celebrate Durga Puja with more enthusiasm and fervour than Diwali, one more of the major festivals we celebrate in India. After I visited the pandal, I got to thinking about a few things.
You Can Travel Within Your own City For a New experience
Yes, we associate travelling with getting out of town or country. But sometimes, you can travel a few miles or kilometres in your city and experience a whole new culture. It is simply fabulous to have this experience, without having to spend a lot! What I experienced was really something to cherish. I spent time with my friends, witnessed their culture and was filled with amazement and joy.
Everyone Needs a Break
The goddess Durga or Shakti, is believed to have gained triumph over a menacing demon with her trident and saving the universe. But there are times when she’s not saving the world or taking care of her children or husband, Lord Shiva. It is these 9 days that she’s said to be taking a break. She is carefree, calm, and relaxed. She’s enjoying her ‘Me’ time. So I was wondering, if she can do that, why can’t we, all the women, do that? Sparing some time for yourself and doing something to rejuvenate yourself, doesn’t mean being selfish. It just means that you are taking care of yourself too, along with others. Perhaps it is not possible every day. All of us don’t have that luxury. Once in a while, we all can manage that, right? I know it’s tough and life kinda gets in the way, but it’s worth a shot!
Keeping Yourself Happy Shouldn’t Be Too Tough
Well, we needn’t indulge in a luxurious spa treatment or an expensive gadget to keep ourselves happy. Travelling, of course, is one of best way to have your ‘Me’ time. But doing what you like – could be anything – knitting, painting, cooking, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, reading, etc is something which can keep you going. Time spent like this for ourselves, cam enable us to deal better with our daily battles, which are endless. We may not have the trident, but we certainly can do something to make ourselves happy and content and keep our inner demons at bay. Travel does the same for many of us!
Spirituality Can Be Seamlessly Blend With This-Wordly Pleasure
So what I witnessed on the last day of Durga Puja was an eclectic mix of spiritual as well as this worldly. On the last day, there’s a ritual, wherein married women smear vermillion (which is applied by married women to their forehead) on each other’s faces. This act is outright materialistic. However, at the same time, looking at these people completely immersed in that devotional mode, was something inexplicable. They were almost in a trans and for a while, absolutely nothing mattered. I don’t know if this is not spiritual, then what is. I am sure they travelled in their own way to an unexplained level of consciousness.
Inner Journey Sometimes Starts With Actual Travel
Our minds can be funny sometimes. For some, like me, actual travel or the external journey is the gateway to the inner one. Others prefer introspection to take that inner journey over the external one. While attending the Puja festivities this was one thing which struck me the most. It gave me a chance to introspect and look within, looking at those people completely immersed in devotion.
In a nutshell, I felt that if the goddess can take a break and travel to her maternal home, why can’t we follow suit and take that fantastic journey within for a rendezvous with our beautiful minds?