It’s Ugadi, 13th April 2021 which signifies the start of a new year for Kannadigas – me! And it’s been a little over a year since our family’s lockdown began. Since many of us really have been reliving the same day over and over again, working from home for more than a year now, what new wisdom is there to be gleaned? I’m not sure there is any, to be honest. What was true before the pandemic is truer now. What was awful before the pandemic is more awful. What was beautiful is more beautiful.
Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of us have also discovered what we definitely do not want to continue to do for the rest of our lives – and are making plans to transition into a new way of living, or a new job or profession even.
What I know is that there is no finish line. Even when the pandemic lifts, if we’re lucky, we’ll still be here, trying to figure out what to do with our lives, trying to figure out what’s next. All we will get is more days to fill. The problem of how to fill them will not go away.
The pandemic also taught me to appreciate the everyday, the boring, the mundane – and reminded me everyday of how much novelty we crave in our lives. Something — anything! — new. Something we’ve never seen or experienced before. A new book. A new show to watch. A new hobby. Seeking out these things and savoring them and celebrating them when we come across them.
I feel so grateful and love how I’ve been able to pour myself into my hobbies and passions in the past year : art, photography, pottery, yoga, gardening, design, fashion, pets, cooking, reading, solving crosswords and sudokus, listening to jazz. To find things to do just for the sake of doing them, to discover practicing for practice’s sake, to find things it feels good to suck just a little less at each day….that’s the kind of stuff that makes life good. (Not to mention: tea drinking, random acts of kindness, making friends, and, of course, screaming into the void once in a while.)
Art, no matter how badly we do it, will always be here for us when we need meaning for our days.
Today, on Ugadi we celebrate with me cooking up a proper Kannadiga feast – Mavinkayi Chitranna, Nucchinunde, Carrot Kosambari, Hesarubele Usli, Kumbalkayi Palya, Aloogedde mosarubajji, kayi holige, Ambode and holige Saru. The menu is set and the prep has been done. Will update with pics here soon. Thankful very thankful.
Here’s wishing all that sweetness washes down every little bit of bitter. Happy Ugadi, all!