Cover Art by my daughter of Goddess Saraswati
Today is Basant Panchami, a very auspicious day for the Hindus as it marks the advent of spring, after a long, dry and dreary winter. The barren trees starts rejuvenating itself with new leaves, buds and flowers. In India specially in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa the festival is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. As the annual and board examinations are usually round the corner, the students enthusiastically take part in festivities. Pleasing the Goddess for good marks always gets the top position in their priority list of blessings. People offer color (abir) of various hues at the feet of the Goddess as a precursor to Holi, the festival of colour, another celebration of spring which falls exactly forty days from today.
Friends, if I don’t mention that this day is also celebrated as Indianized Valentines Day, specially in Bengal, than this column remains utterly incomplete. Only the witness could vouche what a veritable feast it is, to the eyes, seeing all those teens, pre teens and young adults, adorning the special attire apt for the occasion. The dress code is every thing yellow, the girls turn out almost compulsorily in various shades of yellow ‘sarees’. There are even smaller version of it available for the little ones who can’t handle the longer and complicated ones. The boys in kurta – pajamas. Just to see them frolicking around merrily can be real candy floss.
This year’s festivities are much more sweeter as we have left the scare of pandemic, almost behind. Though we have to be extra cautious and be on our gaurds, before calling it a real truce with it. Yet we can sincerely hope and pray to the deity for good and brighter times ahead for all the earthlings.
I wish you all a happy ‘Basant Panchami’. May this spring fill your lives with cheerful colours of happiness, peace and prosperity. Stay safe and healthy.
Adieu for now.