Article: Nav Varsh
A sense of sadness, of remembrance of what has been lived and lost follows on the heel of each celebration our bodies dance to. Much like the almost perfect lines of each kolam drawn to usher in the summer, beauty is touched by transience and fragility. All the hours of loving labor spent bent and focused on white powdery lines will disappear as each design fades. Perhaps that is the truth of the human condition; that celebration is almost always tinged with nostalgia and loss. But what is also true about the human condition is that despite everything, we find ways to come back to longing and working for a better future. Our every day resilience and effort in the face of personal tragedy, larger calamities and strife are testament to this. Perhaps that is what rituals of festivals, harvests, seasons ending and beginning, the many ways we celebrate the arrival of nav varsh; the new year, signify.
Like Albert Camus famously stated,
“In the midst of winter, I found there was within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says no matter how hard the world pushes against me, there’s something stronger-something better, pushing right back.”
In choosing to celebrate in whatever way we can, big or small, in choosing to honor age old celebrations in the way we eat, dress, sing and dance amidst challenges and grief, we proclaim both our humanity and the inevitability of this universal truth; that sorrow and joy go together. Like our eyes, they sit together- sisters in looking inwards into our soul and outwards at the world with each breath.
As this nav varsh beckons and teases us with endless possibilities, tell me, will you keep both eyes open or closed?
Penned By: Reema Ahmad