Happy Sankranthi 2022
Most of the religious festivals at this time of year celebrate prosperity, hope and light – with the third wave of Covid/Omicron looming large over us, I find that it’s important to hold onto the meaning of these celebrations all the more if I cannot mark them in the way I might have in the past. Accepting the reality of our situation without holding on to the hope that maybe things will return to ‘normal’ in time, does help. If I can reduce the gap between my expectations of the ‘perfect celebration’ and the reality of what’s possible, I feel like I can plan better how to balance safety and celebration.
I’ve had to be more creative in how I celebrate, and I’ll take any reason to celebrate these days. However, in years to come, talking about how we celebrated in 2020, 2021 and 2022 may well become one of our most cherished memories – precisely because we were asked to strip back, get creative and focus on the meaning.
One of the best ways to maintain a sense of normalcy for me is to continue to maintain traditions, not skip any festival – I try to stick to the traditions that I have in place, a pared back version ofcourse. So one of the first things to go has been shopping for new clothes, or any wearables. The realisation of ‘I have enough’ and ‘I have too much of everything’ is my pandemic epiphany as also of so many of my friends.
Whether it’s making a particular meal, or decorating our home on a certain day, by maintaining these traditions I can create a sense of normality. As with every year, Sankranthi for my family means eating sweet and khara pongal.
There is a Sankranthi saying in Kannada “ellu bella thindu olle maathadi” that translates to ‘eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.’ Wishing everyone a very sweet and happy Sankranthi 2022.