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I’ve neglected WordPress for a while and I’ve felt extremely guilty, but I’ve been busy or exhausted or a combination of both. You see, in India, it’s festival season. I firmly believe it’s a throwback to the shorter days and darker nights and basically an excuse to party hard. Religious reasons aside, it’s a time for winding down at work and cranking up the volume of the sound system. We’ve had drums and fireworks and lamps and sweetmeats and bangs and crashes and feasting and dancing and at the end of it all, it’s still not over.

Sometimes I feel like complaining. I’ve gone ‘all British!’ and held my head in my hands and exclaimed, “Please, stop!” and then I’ve been forced to ask myself, as I look down at the slums that my Ivory Tower overlooks, “why should they stop?” To find the festivity in the moment in spite of the squalor and the lack of running water and the babies who are hungry, is almost a higher plane of living. To find happiness in spite of the growing cost of vegetables and the crumbling roof and the medical costs that cannot be met is nothing short of a miracle. Who am I to complain?Just because my children find it hard to sleep with Bollywood music straight from the Eighties and the ‘Lungi Dance’ on repeat, being pumped through our window panes at Ten O’Clock on a school night, shouldn’t I just be grateful that my full bellied children are tossing and turning in soft clean beds with a good school to go to in the morning? That would be more sensible.

I guess I have a long way to go, to just letting go and letting be.


The Watchman’s daughters on Diwali Night, Hyderabad 2013