Sunday, November 9, 2014

Festive season #1 for 2014

[Edit: Guess what? I was nominated for Best Personal Blog of 2014 for Nepaliaustralian's 2014 Blog Awards !! I am so honored to have been nominated; vote for me if you want to, but please read all of them because the others nominated are wonderful!]

I know I neglect this blog a lot these days. Sorry ! :( The last few months have been a flurry of activity; basically I haven't slowed down since early September. I drove (solo) to Portland twice - once for a rehearsal and once for my singing school's recital. I drove to Seattle last weekend with a friend to see St. Lucia in concert, which was amazing. They are fantastic musicians and it was worth the eleven-hour round trip.

In between that was festive season #1 - Durga Puja, Diwali, and not one but two college fests that I sang for. Here in our small town, Durga Puja is generally 'observed' over two days in the community in a relatively small-sized get-together with pushpanjali, food, and a cultural program that consists of those of us who sing, dance, recite etc. doing just that (unlike some bigger cities who bring in musicians and movie stars from Kolkata to be the evening entertainment.) For me, who has never experienced a 'real' Pujo season in West Bengal, it is mostly a chance to reunite with friends and make promises to meet up more often, some of which get kept, and to meet new people who arrived in August, who are still making themselves at home in the area. One day I am sure I will get to see what is missed so much by others, but that day has not yet come.

Also during the puja season, I like to cook, and cook a lot. All Bengali food, obviously. This year I made alur dom, cholar dal, luchi, sooji halwa, labra, and a chicken curry, among other things that now I forgot. I ran out of steam before attempting mutton or fish; I am much better with veg food than nonveg anyway, so it was perfectly fine :)

Diwali week again was busy, though I wasn't really expecting it to be. I went to not one but two Lakshmi Pujas on the same day, and the days before and after were spent meeting and greeting friends and making sweets for said meet and greets. I wasn't even at HOME on Diwali and the lights I had so carefully put up on the balcony went unlit that day.

And the college festivals - both were at our local university - India Night came first, the week after Durga Puja, then Bangladeshi Night the week after Diwali. For India Night, I sang Iktara, from the movie Wake Up Sid. (And no, I don't have a video yet.) Bangladeshi Night was more involved; I sang three folk songs as part of a small chorus with two guitar players, and provided the percussion via my electronic tabla app. I was also asked to help with makeup, and spent much longer than expected in the sound check - between all these things, I didn't sit down for nearly four hours at a stretch. Both festivals went absolutely wonderfully and great memories were made, but I certainly did fantasize about a nice, quiet weekend doing nothing but sitting in bed watching Cosmos on Netflix!

Which, of course, has not happened... because festive season #2 is quickly approaching with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years coming up. We're still trying to figure out with A's schedule if we will travel or not this season but right now it's looking like no. Even if we stay here though, it will still be a flurry of parties, visits, baking, decorating, and gift-giving. It never stops, and I think I kind of like that. :)

Oh, and I dressed up as Pusheen the cat for Halloween.
D.B. and me for Halloween - the dark angel and the fat cat. Also, glitter.

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