Growing up, I loved this festival. Unlike the other festivals, this one didn’t have much norms at my home. Amma would engage us in making all the savouries, which we would start preparing only after lunch. We were even allowed to taste the goodies, before Krishna was showed them. This only seemed fair to me then and even now. (God has no rules for how his birthday has to be celebrated, its we who created them and therefore the rules should be tweak-able). We would put little feet of Krishna at home, right from the gate to the Pooja room where we have a little idol of him. Dad would be home by 5 and we would all shout at him in unison to make sure he doesn’t step on the little feet of Krishna. After the Pooja, all of us would sit together and eat the savouries while dad would make fun of how amma drew the Krishna’s feet (most of the time :P)
For the first Janmastami after my wedding, I took some time to re-create the magic at my new home. I made Murukku, Kajjikayalu (a sweet) after I was back from work. I quickly cleaned the house, drew Krishna’s feet. I and S enjoyed the savouries, but the magic wasn’t there. Last year, it was only little Pooja that I managed to do on this day. This year, I am not in the mood for celebration at all – I don’t know why!
Last night while talking to Amma I said I am not doing anything for Janmastami this round, preparing sweets/savouries makes no sense as there is no-one around. S wont be here until weekend. Whats the use of celebrating it all alone I said. Though, there was a nagging feeling inside my head this morning. Its been 3 months I even lit a lamp or went infront of Pooja room. Am I feeling guilty that I am ignoring God? Will God be angry with me and punish me for what I am not doing for him? Why are these customs to be followed? Does God even want them? Isnt all these a means of ensuring togetherness in the family and in the society? If I can think of Almighty while I am in my night dress looking at my TV, isnt that enough of a prayer? The list of questions were endless. My thoughts ran like horses.
With a gloomy mind, I was getting out of my house to go to the office – thinking how Amma would be busy with the preparations. Just then, the kiddo next door came running towards the compound wall and flashed his most beautiful smile at me. Its been a few months I saw him and out of all days, he decides to pay me a visit today. He was hiding behind a saree being dried out there and was giving out his innocent smile to me. In a second, all thoughts vanished. I was happy. I was smiling bright too. He gave out a loud tata, when I waved him bye. I had my darshan of the little Krishna today, in his own form. Now why do I have to worry about my Pooja? My day is made.
A while go, I got reminded of my very first pencil sketch – “Radha – Krishna”. It was the one I attempted as a novice, trying to do something with a normal HB pencil and an A4 sheet. I looked out for the copy of it and finally found it (though the picture quality is not so good). Here it is –
I think I have celebrated my version of Janmastami today!
How are you guys celebrating? Would love to know your stories.