Today marks the beginning of the amazing नवरात्रि, the first day - Mahalaya. Being a gujarati, I am excited for navratri all year long. We spend 356 days of the year waiting for the 9 days of navratri. It is not just a pious and sacred occasion, it gives us a feel of festivity. There are so many colors, so many traditions which make this festival a mixture of varied cultures. When we talk about Navratri, thoughts like nine sacred days devoted to prayer of the Hindu goddess of power & fasting comes to our mind. Nine days of non-stop desi party. Nine days of music. Nine days of divine entertainment. Nine days of food festival. Nine days of ultimate fun celebrations.
Apart from Gujarat, another state where navratri is so much anticipated is Bengal. A week before Navratri begins, the idols of Goddess Durga are being painted and made ready except for the eyes. On the occasion of Mahalaya, the Goddess is invited on earth with rituals and so on this day, the eyes are drawn on the idols in an auspicious ritual called Chokku Daan. The city is adorned with lights. People from all over the country visit the city at this time, and every night is one mad carnival where thousands of people go ‘pandal-hopping’ with their friends and family. Traffic becomes a nightmare, and indeed, most people abandon their vehicles to travel by foot after a point. A special task force is deployed to control law and order.
In Mumbai, I hop from one location to another, from Falguni Pathak to Naitik Nagda. The decorations are so different everywhere and everybody is so joyous. We all dress up and drown ourselves in pure love. I absolutely love Navratri.
My friends Moksha Mehta & Jinisha Mehta are amazing singers who sing powerful garba over Navratri. If you'll are interested to see their work or book them for next navratri, please use the links below to contact them via Instagram.