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Here comes September bringing with it "chilled" evenings and a festive mood! Already that palpable excitement of festivities can be felt all around.
I am a Bengali by birth, born in Madhya Pradesh, raised partly in MP and mostly in Gujarat. I have grown up up to people from every caste and religion celebrating Holi and Diwali with equal fervor.
Now I am a Mumbaikar. My kids are raised in a cosmopolitan culture. The sound of Ganpati Bappa Morya gives goosebumps to all of us! For us now Ganesh Mahotsav is a part of existence. Though my kids have never been to Bengal yet Durga Pujo is something they know is synonymous with Bengalis. Rabindra Sangeet, Dhaki, Maa Durga and her children visiting us every year is something that we all look forward too.
Having lived in Gujarat for long, Navratri, Garba, and Dandiya are very close to my heart. The 10 days of colorful costumes and awesome jewelry, the nonstop excitement of Garba is something which I believe has spread to almost every part of India.
I don't know how to make Rangoli but now when my daughter sees beautiful Rangolis during Diwali she insists I make them! Somehow that enthusiasm of hers rubs on to me and I make a "tedha medha" Rangoli!
My kids study in a school where the trustees are Christians and hence Christmas is also celebrated with fervor along with the other festivals. The activities of Christmas decoration, Carol singing, Bible reading is something that my kids have grown up to. Their Christian friends invite them over for some yummy cakes and savories.
Similarly, we all celebrate Id, Guruparab, Buddha Purnima, and many such festivals thanks to our friends, our kids schoolmates, neighbors.