Chait Navratras, the festival of nine nights was observed from 4th April to 12th April this year. They start on the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar and ends on Sri Rama Navami, the ninth day of the month. The first day of this month is celebrated as Ugadi (The New Years for Hindus).
We started our Navratras by decorating our small temple. My mother did all the preparations, I was the important moral support she so needed ;-)
People all over the country also fast for all the nine days. What I like about fasting is that the days I keep a fast, I always feel famished all the time. I keep eating fruits the whole day. But, my mother who is really devotional has never complained of hunger despite all the work she manages and neither have I ever seen her eating a lot. She has always believed in it from her heart and I have seen so many other people who do so too.
In stark contrast, are some people who go on boasting about fasts and other sacrifices they make. I even heard a person once saying he would do it alternate days. What I think is God doesn’t ask of us to show off our devotion, and He doesn’t even ask us to say to leave work for him. He asks of us to have that belief and to remain good all the time with each and everyone.
What I love about Navratras is the last day, when little girls come to our houses and they are worshipped. It is the Navmi. My mother says they are the 9 goddesses. Her face is always gleaming with joy to see them. Delicious delicacies are prepared and the girls are served. And I am always hovering near by and waiting for my chance :)…. This time very little girls of around 4-9 years came to our place. I sat with them and was enjoying listening to their discussions.
And then memories of my childhood came to my mind. I still remember well how each one of us used to get ready in the morning to be treated as a Goddess in every house of the society. We used to eat from morning to afternoon and every family treated us with love and care. And while leaving, they used to ask us to bless them…. They believed that our blessings would bring them prosperity and success. And now when I saw these kids, it was the same. True it is that the times have changed but the rituals are the same. I was glad to see it. I later on ate with all those girls and then took their blessings.
With it ended my festivals of navratras, one which left many memories etched in my heart.