She was born a Hindu. Raised in a Christian school.  Brought-up in a Sikh colony. Married a Muslim.

Can’t really put a finger when she imbibed them all. No, not the religion.

The festivals.

Each, when her family and she celebrate them, feels like their own. But yes, for her, they do bring in all of what a typical work project at office entails. Multiple stakeholders to cater to. Familiar constraints of time and resources. Planning, execution and the works.

The ongoing Navratri is no different. Here’s yet another brush of hers with an Indian festival. In her words…

“Pick up one colour and no changing your mind later”

I scribbled the nine colours linked to Navratri celebrations on a paper and summoned my two pre-teen girls.

Was hoping it’s not pink. (Ask any house which has girls and they will tell you how we all suffer from an overdose of pink- everything from dresses to stationery)

The Gods heard me. Yellow it was!

The intent and ideas were manifold, as I explained to them. Pick up a day of the ongoing Navratri festival as per the colour chosen, and let’s go all out and celebrate with our loved ones. And while were at it, let the colour yellow (considered to be synonymous with happiness, holy, purity, warmth and knowledge) rule over the celebrations. As expected, it sounded fun to the girls and served my underlying purpose of piquing their interest in our rituals and festivals.

The next few days passed by in a jiffy. My two interns, per my instructions, drew lists of anything and everything yellow which could be part of the celebrations. From home décor and knick-knacks to traditional attire with matching yellow bangles and hair accessories. The menu too was well thought of. Yellow Suji Halwa, Jalebi, Corn Chaat served with their favourite Maaza drink made to the final cut. Not bad!

D-day arrived. Husband and I left our respective offices early to gear up for our roles as hosts for the evening. The stage was set. Guests began trickling in. Relatives, friends, office colleagues and neighbours were greeted with a warm and welcoming sight- our house, beautifully adorned with yellow flowers and tiny yellow lights. (commonly known as mirchi lights) The ‘house pride’ in me glowed bright.

The girls parked themselves with their friends in their room. For once the pink room had a breather- yellow smiley emojis drawn all over the soft board, and glowing yellow lamps making a playful pattern on the walls (much to their delight). Sitting pretty on their table were yellow paper napkins and matching spoons, yellow polka-dotted paper plates flaunting the evening delicacies and Mason jars brimming with their Maaza.

Banter, laughter, food and fun was all we had envisaged and exactly what the evening witnessed. After all, that’s what festivals do, right? Bring families together in celebration. And celebrations are all about the more the merrier.

The evening came to a close with the customary duty of the tired dad tucking the kids into their beds (after a never ending good night hugging session with their mom) and a much more tired me, clearing the last bits of leftovers when suddenly my eyes fell on the Maaza bottle perched on kitchen table. And as they say, the rest is history.

As my husband left the kids’ room and walked into the living room, he was both, amused and happy to see what he found. His wife had plonked herself on the recliner and was happily sipping her sweet reward.

A well-deserved indulgence.