So, we are back from Udaipur, the city of lakes. We were there for Diwali at my in laws' place and the trip was like a soothing balm for our aching souls.
Firstly the noise levels were at a bare minimum. It was more about lights than sounds, just as Diwali is meant to be. And the occasional crackers which went off were strictly between 7 pm and 10 pm.
There was puja, flowers, rangoli and mithai and friends dropping in to say 'Happy Diwali' with all the warmth and without any fake formalities. The city was shut for two days and everyone just revelled in the holiday and festive spirit.
For us city dwellers, it was a lesson. When it's festive time, it's meant to be celebrated and with no guilt attached. No juggling last minute assignments and deadlines to accommodate the festive spirit and then regretting that we didn't get enough time to celebrate.
This is the beauty of small towns. They have a pace, an aura, a timelessness of their own. Everything moves at a speed at which it is meant to move. We city dwellers may find it a bit slow for our liking but think about it, there's no mad rush for anything.
My husband's nephew who came in from Hyderabad used to wait patiently every morning as the mithaiwala took his own sweet time to get the jalebis in shape and wrapped them hot off the pan. It used to be our everyday pre-breakfast indulgence. And then it was hot kachoris again made fresh right in front of our eyes. No stale stuff pre-packed and stored for god knows how many days.
Every morning the newspaper came in much after the designated hour, yet no one was in a rush to read it. We had conversations, pulled each other's legs over steaming cups of hot chai while my daughter was indulged happily by her grandparents, bua and cousins.
The taxi guy booked to take us sightseeing often arrived at our doorstep 15 minutes late. But there was no rush on either sides. The maid came in half an hour late with a big smile and settled down to a cup of chai and kachori indulging in gossip with my mother in law. Once the senses were satiated, only then did the vessels get cleaned. Again there was no irritation on either sides.
The maid didn't have to run to ten houses so she took her own sweet time to cook and she did so with all her heart. The result was a piping hot delicious meal day after day. My mother in law was as tuned into her staff's lives as they were to hers.
They knew us, welcomed us and behaved as if we were family to them too. In return, it did not take us too long to open our hearts to them as well. There was an easy exchange of warmth and hospitality and I wondered how it came so easily to them.
My daughter loved having so many people around and I realized how lonely the kids get in cities. She did not cling to me even once, happy to be taken care of by other family members. She loved the space, the mountains, the lakes, the sightseeing trips and the freedom to run around wherever her dainty feet took her.
She ate everything offered to her and looked forward to garam phulkas made by her grandmother. She pestered her grandfather to take her out to the market. She blackmailed her cousin to buy her chocolates while her bua pampered her with other delicacies.
I have often mentioned the importance of grandparents in a kid's life and seeing all this only re-iterated my faith that for a kid's all round development, they need to see and interact with people other than their parents. It was overwhelming to see her glow and blossom and happy. What more than this could a parent want for their child and how I wished I could give her this gift all year round!
We did not miss the pace of the city, in fact we did not miss the city at all. We were with family and we were happy. Who wanted to know whether the Sensex plunged or soared in Mumbai? All we knew that our spirits were soaring with all the love and happiness around us.
We for once truly lived in the moment and just flowed with the events happening. Nothing was organized, not one moment was choreographed yet they all came together to form one memorable holiday. Truly the lights of Diwali brightened our hearts and freed our souls from the stress of a modern chaotic city life. We are alive again. Now if only this could go on forever. The city beckons!
Till my next post! You can write to me at http://mammamania.in