“Puja is just around the corner”. People at work started to say this at least a month before the festival actually started. They were excited because we would get a four-day weekend. My immediate reaction to this was to check flights to home. I wanted to experience Puja but was scared about being left out alone. I planned to make my trip back home a surprise visit. My mother would be so happy. Few of my friends were coming home as well. All my plans got destroyed when I checked the flight prices. The festival is even more huge than I thought. The prices had doubled. Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals in India. However, it is not celebrated on a large scale in the south.
Days passed by. Decorations began to pop up on the streets. The festival mood had begun to set in. People were unusually happy (including my grumpy manager!). Everything changed. There were more lights in the streets. There were good smells lingering in the air. People were all dressed well. Songs played all the time(tunes you can dance to but wouldn’t listen to at home!).
Today was the last day of work before the holidays started. I was walking back from work when I suddenly noticed these bright lights.
All of a sudden my attitude towards the whole thing changed. I thought to myself, “Maybe its better if I joined in”. I don’t know why but I suddenly felt happy. I felt the festival vibe. Christ! I even liked the music! What has happened to me? (Having understood there’s no way out, my mind probably said fuck it!). My next plan was to call up the few friends I have here and find out what they were doing for Puja. Even though I was forced to stay back, I think I might actually enjoy this!