Joy Returns to Indian Festivals as Dark Days of Covid-19 Fade Away

After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, there’s finally some respite as this time around, the festive season is being celebrated in full swing. While summer is bidding its final farewell, there is chaos in every nook and corner. The festive joy seemed inevitable last week with dandiya nights and Pujo pandals all across the country.

In Delhi, CR Park was full of Pujo pandals, along with many other places. The pandals were decked up in all their glory and streets were filled with food and toy stalls. With an expected increase in devotees, the Pujo committees sprung into action and managed to make the most out of it. For someone who loves the festivities, to see the buzzing streets and roads was a pure delight. The markets were full of smiling and chattering families. The streets were pouring with life and light, after a really long time.

An image from Puja pandal in C.R Park, New Delhi.

On the other hand, dandiya enthusiasts were busy celebrating Garba nights. The nine-day Navratri celebration is devoted to Goddess Durga and is celebrated with grandeur across the country.

This comes in as the last two years have been extremely hard for people all across the globe. The pandemic took a toll on people as many lost their loved ones. But like every night is followed by a morning light, the dark clouds of the pandemic finally seem to have subsided.

However, this time there was a slight change in the celebration as compared with the pre-covid times. People at several pandals and garba/dandiya nights were seen wearing masks and carrying hand sanitisers.

Not just Delhi, but Bengaluru also celebrated the festivals with full grandeur. More than 30 different dandiya events were held all across the city. The excitement was not just confined to the Mela grounds. Several videos which went viral on social media showed passengers at the airport breaking into an impromptu garba dance. The clip was shared by Twitter user Divya Putrevu and it shows a group of passengers breaking into a very unexpected yet joyous Garba dance.

A similar incident also took place at Mumbai airport where a group of people were seen performing Garba on the Bollywood song ‘Chogada.’

Just trust them when they say anything can happen in Bengaluru!
Had my @peakbengaluru moment again at @BLRAirport
Crazy event by staff! Beautiful to see random travellers gathering just to play Garba.

— Divya Putrevu (@divyaaarr) September 29, 2022

Breaking news: this is happening at Mumbai Airport right now. @ShivAroor @CSMIA_Official ❤️

— Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa) October 4, 2022

Even though Dussehra marks the end of Navratri and Durga Pujo, there is still a lot to come. The month is now leading up to Diwali – the festival of lights. With the onset of Diwali celebrations, the streets are usually lined up with a string of bulbs, often put up by a local temple. Finally, after two years, there will be no dark corners and people will celebrate the festival with the same zeal and joy.

People have now finally returned to the original scale of festive joy after two years of darkness in the world. It’s been a long two-year fight to get to a point where we could celebrate these festivals. Two years ago, one would question whether these celebrations would ever return. This year, as they do, it feels surreal and overwhelming. As we celebrate these festivals, let’s also keep those who lost loved ones over the past two years in our thoughts, and hope and pray we get to continue celebrating these festivals with all their glory in the future.

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