A stubborn white smoke wafted though the air in upward spirals trying its best to touch the blue October skies, and I stood silently in the sidelines, with eyes drinking in on the scene before me. I had spent the past 26 years in this house, seeing this sight and bathing in this smell on an annual basis.
It was Mahasaptami and the arti in my house was just ending. The whole family stood with their heads bowed low in reverence to the goddess, palms folded in prayer. We replicate the exact same scene year after year; so much so that if one was to click a picture of this mini-event each year and compare the photographs, it would have all of us positioned in complete congruence.
Festivals and their associated family traditions do this to you- they make you believe that this life follows only one set pattern which must be followed with a strict diligence and punctuality no matter what.
But that is not always the case, I suppose. No one and nothing is immune to change, not even a tradition as pure and beautiful as the one I just described.
As I prepare myself for the upcoming wedding and the new lifestyle that shall subsequently become mine, I am reminded of the countless articles I have read about how a woman's life changes immeasurably after she is married. Yes, I would be a fool living in an unnecessary mode of denial if I were to disagree with this notion; but I also think it's important that we acknowledge the fact that this is a voluntary change, unlike say, the changing of seasons or friendships which are beyond human control. I am choosing to marry, and I am choosing to make this change that shall affect everyone involved in this coalescence, so to speak. It marks the beginning of a hundred and one new traditions to come and even more smiles to follow.
These nine holy days of October will always carry me home to my lovely old house with its crazy occupants and enchanting traditions, but I am just as excited about the future that awaits on the other side of November.