I am yet to come back to the daily routine partly because my mind is fixated on the Pongal holiday weekend and how nice it was to be surrounded by the family.
Last couple of years, we started a new tradition by celebrating festivals on our own. Last year, we even had our own bommala kovulu. While that was all a part of acting grown up and responsible, there is an unexplainable joy in spending time with our families during festivals.
The best part of this year’s Pongal is that it was on my own terms – atleast partly. Ever since I got married, it became an unwritten rule to celebrate any festival at the in-laws. I don’t know what I expected knowing that these were the societal norms but it meant there was a heart burn everytime I thought about my parents and why should it be this way. After all these years, I think we have come to a stage where we spend half the festival day at my in-laws and the remaining half at my parents. This surely has saved a few arguments between us and no one is left unhappy. So, that’s exactly what we did this Pongal too. We started the celebrations at my in-laws and finished them at my parents. The good part is that everyone from my in-laws joined us at my parents and it was great get together 🙂
I am not too good at saying NO to my mother-in-law and many a times it has come back to bite me. Yes, I am solely responsible for this. As a new bride, I was afraid to hurt my MIL’s sentiments and never said a no. Thankfully we have never lived under the same roof for more than 10 days and that has been a savior. But how long could I pretend things to keep up her expectations? I have been trying to change this, although I am not entirely successful, there is still some hope.
Imagine this – I slog through the entire day in office, go home, finish off the last minute packing and then sit through 6 hours of travel (not driving of course, but still) to reach home after 10.30 in the night. A sweet surprise awaits me as I finish off my dinner – we are to indulge in the elaborate rangoli session. My heart sinks a little, fearing the impact of it on my already terrible back. And then, I was super tired. I wanted to crash on the bed right away. Rangoli was the last thing on my mind. Don’t get me wrong – I love rangolis but when anything is forced on me, I kind of lose interest.
So as it happens, my MIL assumed that I would be a part of the rangoli session that started at 11 in the night and ended at 2 in the morning. Yes, we were on the road drawing three rangolis into the wee hours on Pongal day. I should have said NO. But I couldn’t. Remember I am still working on it. S got pretty mad at me and any of his attempts to save me were in vain. The rangolis turned beautiful but all I could worry about was my Sciatica and how my feet were are still numb.
On the D-day, my MIL came to me with a whole bunch of flowers which meant I would have wear the new saree. Though it was not easy, I told her that I was planning on wearing the saree only in the evening when I am done with all the work. I don’t know if that made her unhappy but I had to tell her that. A baby step, yet a significant one for me. Saree session in the evening was a huge success as I was in my best mood 🙂
What followed was a drive to my parents’ place and my exclusive time with Thomi *more on that in another post*. Also, being at parents’ place almost after a year means a lot of nostalgia and extreme happiness.
This trip involved a couple of impulse visits too. One was to my most favorite temple in Chennai, the one we had been planning to visit since last year. Sometimes, it is the simplest of things that seem very difficult to achieve. Needless to say, visiting that temple gave me so much peace. And the other was to see to a circus. I should and will write about my first proper circus experience in the next post.
A jam packed three days that included our long drive to and fro too. And probably that’s why I am yearning for a vacation right after this short break.
Now for the rangoli and other pics –