Dandiya Dance Celebration in Navratri

Dandiya Dance Celebration in Navratri

Navratri gets celebrated with great devotion throughout India. It is the worship of the goddess as primordial feminine divinity. She is present in almost all mythologies and date back to the Neolithic, if not even the Paleolithic.

How vain had been the attempt to capture the vitality of the moment. I could feel the joy of the people and sit there for a long time. While I got inspired by the music and the ease of the atmosphere, I fell into a daydream.

The day before, I was sitting on a bench in front of the temple, watching the multitude of people. They turned around each other in a peculiar manner. Men and women in colorful clothes gave themselves to a playful and enchanting dance. My camera tried in vain to capture what it could still grasp in a dim light. It froze the same motion into a static image in a moment, while the circle continued to move.

Today, after I had finished my light evening meal, I walked past the temple again. I turn right after a little hesitation. I cross the wrought-iron arch to the forecourt and then sit down on the simple bench. I try again to take a picture with the camera and come close to the steps, which lead to the covered dance floor.

When an older man grabbed me by my hand, I have already lost any possibility to save myself from this situation. He squeezes two colorful wooden sticks called Dandiya Sticks. He then pulls me into the living circle.

So I dance from one end to the other part of the Dandiya Raas. It is on the occasion of the nine-day celebration of the Navratri festival. Although popular all over India, Dandiya originated from Gujarat.

I learn the movement and subordinate myself to the rhythm of the group. In time with the music, I strike the left stick in a backhand movement to the left. and then with the right hand to the right on the stick of the counter. As my whole body moves in rhythm around my hips, I strike my two sticks to my right. And then to the two sticks of my counterpart, by pulling out to the upper left.

After each stride, I walk a step forward and play the game with a new man or a new woman. Since these are two opposing circles, I meet new people. Sometimes I exchange embarrassed or resolute looks with them. I bend down to the young children and then set me up again, to honor an elderly lady in the sari. The men are dynamic, suggesting blows and play with full energy. While the women are less energetic, but dance with the same joy.

Before I take a pause, an older man drags me to exchange a last hesitant stick strike with me.

The ninth and last day is also known as Mahanavami. I go once more to the temple in the evening after dark and sit down again on a bench. After ten minutes, a young man immersed in the dance recognizes me again. It implies that I should come and he greets me with his broad smile.

With the Dandiya sticks in my hand, I start to dance and move, exchanging smiles while moving from one man to the next. Today the young women in their Anarkali suits look more charming. I dance for a good hour and share the real joy that comes to me here with all those present. Small children in an innocent manner bounce their sticks, so I get to be careful not to hit on the fingers.

The evening ends with a puja in honor of the goddess Durga. Oil lamps get kindled. The crowd begins to sing a religious song accompanied by a loud drum and rhythmic clapping.
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Book Review: Dance Of The Spirits - Sanjai Velayudhan

Book Review: Dance Of The Spirits - Sanjai Velayudhan

Dance Of The Spirits by Sanjai Velayudhan tells us a story of destiny that each human being could suffer. I was especially interested in this book, for its backdrop of Theyyam and the old customs of our culture. On the first page, Sanjai gives us a deeper insight into the meaning and some rituals performed.

Theyyam is a prehistoric ritual theatre in Kannur in Kerala on the Malabar coast. The sounds of drums get beaten since ancient times. Many believe that the origins go back to the Neolithic period.

Appropriate rituals get organized in the open air for hundreds of deities. It includes spiritual beings, mythical ancestors, and personalized animals. During the performance, the dancers reach a kind of trance state. And so they accept the role of the God worshiped in the moment. At this moment, the dancer is the Godhead.

The book is better suited for this because it has a more mystical mood. The story develops through the tale of a research scholar from the United States. She is on a trip to India to do a thesis on Theyyam. It is an experience so strange that Maria cannot have requested for more.

Maria forges a close bond with Krish, who acts as her native escort. She sees the veil that separates us from the spiritual world becoming more permeable. Maria recognizes more of the things that are visible only to the heart.

Together, they travel to the cabalistic realm of spirits, serpent-gods, and illicit riddles. From time immemorial, people celebrate these holy days with customs, oracles, and rituals. Maria feels that human life gets characterized not only by the course of the seasons. They are also by the rituals and customs associated with it.

As curio gets the better of her, Maria, unfortunately, must pay the price. The end is bitter and one many get tempted to shout aloud. Because with it another, wonderful nerve of humanity gets hit. It is the will to keep control and still be helpless to destiny.

This magical book has the strength that gives a good insight into the human mind. It also allows us to experience the many customs and rituals have been part of human life for centuries. In the meantime, the traditions get revived as Maria goes deeper, and so many surprises await her as well as us.

Dance Of The Spirits by Sanjai Velayudhan takes a special place as the description is fantastic. It is not a book in which supernatural beings emerge or extra-terrestrial beings. The boundaries between intimate reality and mysterious magic seem to run away.

At the beginning, the reader has the feeling that Sanjai Velayudhan would only tell a story by the way. As the reader continues to read, the author flashes through a perfidious characteristic. It is because the fate of a person is being decided.

The reader can get torn between grief, hysterical laughter, indignation and speechlessness. Behind all these things is the truth that every person dies lonely. There is an existence stuffed with meaningless things in the mirror of one's own death.

And yet the novel reveals that there is no other possibility, for we know what death is only when it meets us. Sanjai Velayudhan has packaged all these things in a short novel. It thus triggers a roller coaster ride of emotions in the reader.

Dance Of The Spirits is an emotional work. But even without this reference, the novel would not fail. A distressing picture gets painted without exaggeration. So one should read the book itself. The fact that some things get relativized is comprehensible. But at the same time, it also represents a painful insight which we cannot escape.

This well-written book is an emotional treat! It is not only beautiful, but is also a damn honest book. It is not a horror novel, yet is frightening. It is like a drama, but taken from the real life.
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How to Purify Air at Home Naturally - 10 Tips

How to Purify Air at Home Naturally - 10 Tips

Air pollution within our home can be greater than the outside air. Studies show that the substances present in the domestic walls are a source of pollution. Other factors that may cause poor air quality to breathe are paints and other particles. They are often very dangerous for the health of those who live or stay there.

Among the diseases related to domestic pollution are respiratory infections, bronchitis, asthma, allergies. Unfortunately, the time we get in contact with nature is inadequate. For thousands of years, man has lived in a natural environment. The human body has adapted in the same way as plants and animals.

Breathing fresh air is fundamental to each person's health. Whether it's children, adults, or the elderly. Unfortunately, this is possible in the less urbanized areas, especially in the hills.

Do you want a simple way to purify your home air? Here are 10 Tips for breathing clean air in your home.

1. Always ventilate the environment

Every day open the windows in every room for at least 10-15 minutes. Whether it's raining or there is the sunshine, it's always better to allow a good air exchange. It is a good rule to ventilate your home every morning and every night before going to bed. Even sleeping with the open window is good to ensure a better supply of oxygen. In this way, we can breathe in our home a clean and hygienic air as it happens outside after a nice rain or thunderstorm.

2. Choose safe products

While choosing a paint or other material, consider environment friendly alternative. If you have white curtains and live in the center of a large city, you will soon realize how smog is able to enter our homes. They will become gray every day. It is necessary to clean curtains, rugs, and any removable furniture. Besides capturing the pollution particles, they are a good shelter for dust and mites.

3. Keep some plants in the house

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Plants also clean the air by neutralizing volatile substances present in the air. There are different species of plants that can come to our rescue. Ficus can also help filter out pollutants that are lurking in carpets or home furniture.

So even if it's harder to get, it is an ideal living room plant. To neutralize the effect of toxic paints, dracaena plant is useful. It grows well even in poor lighting conditions. No plant works against formaldehyde like bamboo.

Aloe Vera is not only good for health, if taken in very small quantities, but it cleans the air of our environments.

4. Do not smoke at home for anything in the world

The damaging effect of cigarette smoke on the lungs is well documented. Smoking inside your home not only affects you, it is detrimental to the people around you. A home with cigarette smoke may be more polluted than an avenue with cars by the level of air concentration.

We know how complicated it is to stop smoking and we urge you to do it. But, if you cannot, at least respect this place as a smoke-free space. This, moreover, serves as an excuse to smoke less since you will not be going out all the time. Tobacco smoke contains harmful substances and they are as harmful.

5. Avoid synthetic fabrics on sofas, curtains, carpets

These tissues get made with petroleum derivatives. Over time, they will be releasing thousands of chemicals that are quite harmful to our health. As the best option, use natural linen or cotton fabrics.

6. Do not make the bed immediately when you get up

This advice may seem strange to you. In our bed's nest those bugs that we so hate. Mites are very comfortable sleeping with us. They feed on the moisture that emanates with the sweat produced during sleep. If we make the bed immediately when we get up, we will conserve much of that moisture. It not only contributes to the bad smell, we will be providing a great atmosphere for mites to live.

The ideal option is to leave the house ventilated as we said at the beginning and not to make the bed. Wait till the late morning or mid-afternoon. It may seem sloppy, but it is a good tactic to avoid respiratory and allergic problems. And if we do not adopt the right behaviors, they will live together with our loved ones without us realizing it.

7. Use natural air fresheners

Essential oils that spread fragrances in the environment are not a solution to get clean air in the home. Incense or scented candles are some of the most common domestic air pollutants. These products mask the bad smell under a chemical fragrance and that is not so healthy.

You can make natural air fresheners at home without spending more money. Take advantage of things as simple as coffee grounds. You can dry them or put them in decorative glass containers.

Another option is to use the skin of oranges or lemons to make a natural air freshener. Take the skin and make tiny bits trying to discard as much interior as possible. You can put it in the pots too or in the same containers. And by the way, you can eat some fruit, right? Is there anything cooler than the smell of citrus?

8. Use organic cleaning products

When we use cleaning products we introduce many harmful chemicals into our environment. These products can increase the risk of developing allergies and add to the chemicals in the air. Use organic products free of chemicals.

9. Avoid moisture in indoors

Take care that there is no poor waterproofing or rain enters the house through windows or doors. Moisture is a suitable medium for allergy-causing fungi and mites to develop.

10. Pay attention to the paints

Check that the paint on the walls is not loose or peeling. Residues of dry paint, falling from the walls, can go into the home air. When you paint a room, check for proper ventilation. One way to reduce polluting substances in homes is to use something more natural. Avoid using glues and chemical paints (especially those with solvents). There are paints that absorb bad odor, release fragrance and neutralize air pollution.

Do you want clean air at home and avoid breathing problems? Follow these tips. You will see how when you return home you will notice the air much cleaner, fresh and pleasant.
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My Natural Way of Life - How to Live a Healthy Way of Life

My Natural Way of Life - How to Live a Healthy Way of Life

My day starts with a fruit salad made from at least 10 fruit varieties. I always try to eat fruits of the season. The external beauty of the fruits is not important to me. I usually buy almost the crooked unformed fruit. Of course, this is much more fun to buy from the weekly market in my place. As a child, I always climbed the fruit trees.

I always buy the fruit from a particular fruit seller, who is the age of my grandfather. He is very nice to me, always hugs me and is happy when I show up. I like him very much. He calls me my child. I always get a few extra fruits from him. When I am asked what gift I always wish for, I answer fruits and vegetables.

Of course, I cannot miss ginger, cinnamon, and red chili. I also consume other natural surprises which I always find here and there.

Every day I have my fruit salad in a different way. It looks like a work of art. Friends and relatives, who visit me, sometimes wait in anticipation of my breakfast. As a supplement for the first food of the day, a cup of tea is always must for me. I prefer a variety that I have drunk in Darjeeling for the first time. With regular tea, I now mix various other ingredients of my own. It has succeeded in reaching the same taste.

Tea is a master and helps me to overcome the winters with a special kind of warmth. A cup of tea also arouses the good humor in me. It gives me strength and positive energy. And in the warm days, it is hard to believe. The tea is refreshing, even in the heat, like a positive and successful energetic bomb.

In my everyday life during the daytime, I try to always have a home diet with green and leafy vegetables. Sometimes there is also freshwater fish on the menu.

Once I went to Nagpur in a very well-known wine region. My friends home have been waiting for me to bring good wines from there. But to their horror, I decided to get oranges and grapes for them.

Sometimes, I experience a kind of jealousness against people who live in a healthy way. I hate the ones who do all the unhealthy things in the world.

It is all the same to me. Whenever I am invited, I take part everywhere. It can even be a BBQ party. There I eat the eggplant that gets grilled, pineapple or it's what's on the griddle, but no meat.

The driving force of exercises has, of course, always been an inseparable element in my life. I do not want to be a preacher and say, "This is good or better, or not." I only claim what is good for me. I do not teach and I do not say what the others had to do.

It is not my job to discriminate against others who are not as healthy as I am. But when I am asked for my diet or conviction, I am ready to express my opinion. I get happy when I see that someone adopted my nutritional advice and that the result is positive.

My spontaneous recipe for food and life is sometimes spread and conveyed as "You Are What You Eat". The fact is that everyone needs to know what is better for themselves.

My concerns are not selfish. I have a tendency to cultivate the environment where I am. I move with countless plastic bags in the pockets to clear any litter by the sea and rather on the beach edge. Many times garbage men and women thank me for my concern for preserving a clean environment. I use and enjoy nature very much, but for me, it is very important to maintain it.

For years I've been riding the bicycle rather than the motorbike. Sometimes I drive up to 20 kilometers in bicycle every day. On the saddle, I get free to change my way and to enjoy the diversity of the surroundings. I can also in a way make my contribution to a healthy environment.

To be peaceful in the family and with friends is a great joy for me. My life gets enriched by being present not only in the good times but also in the bad times of others. I donate many times without any expectation.

I manage to observe the tiny, small things of life, like the ways of the ants. It pleases me and makes me happy to see the daily sunrise and sunset. Well, this is my way of living healthy.

I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.
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Book Review: The Mahabharata Murders - Arnab Ray

Book Review: The Mahabharata Murders - Arnab Ray

The Mahabharata Murders is a crime drama by Arnab Ray. What could provide a more coherent background for a crime scene than the Mahabharata, the famous Indian epic with all its fascination, but also with the many dark sides such as the dubious fratricidal machinations of Duryodhana on the shadowy world of the Pandavas?

No epic is so suitable for a crime story like the Mahabharata, where the battle of Kurukshetra fuels the interest of many Indians. It is not without reason that each chapter is initiated with the name of Draupadi, Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna, Bheema, and Yudhistira. The characters range from brilliant strategists to the ones who share a sense of arrogance and malignity.

Arnab's novel has its strengths in the almost sardonic reworking of the characters with a serial killer hunting for his prey in the streets of Kolkata. The characters move like chess figures, and even those who love the epic cannot free themselves from vanities.

The Mahabharata Murders is very vicious and the greatest pleasure is to guess the real characters hiding behind the figures.

The main theme is nothing is as it seems. In fact, the reality is often different, because everybody lives a small or big drama.

The skillful dramaturgy does one thing. Just when one thinks everything has been seen, Arnab delivers an unexpected volte, which makes the events appear in a different light. Stylistically the novel is captivating, that tickles the curiosity of the reader by pushing them to solve the puzzle themselves.

Written by alternating multiple events and reinforced by a well-constructed weave, the narrative quickly reaches the end. In the end, there is more to it than just being a few murders.

With great narrative talent, Arnab pushes forward an action that develops an irresistible pull and which does not wear over more than 250 pages. He tells a contemporary story and it is a remarkable idea of adopting this theme. This is once again an exciting book by the author. It is great fun to read his works.

Arnab's narrative keeps one in a spell. Driven by the question of how it goes on and who the murderer is, you cannot put it out of your hands until you have read the last chapter. But during the reading one does not remain in the realm of fiction. There is a reason behind everything. Arnab creates a scene with great proximity to reality.

Arnab is a master narrator who relies on his wits. He always succeeds in making the right tale. In doing so, he is an articulate artist. The author unfolds his story and shows that an epic like Mahabharata can also be a place for a gripping piece of literature.

What at first glance looks like a simple whodunit turns out to be a complex work with several levels. You always have to be on your guard as the tension never leaves. It is an extraordinary novel that at the same time have crime, romance, social drama and pure fiction. The book as a whole is striking, intense and overwhelming. It reads quickly because like every good thriller it respects you need to find out the guilty.

The Mahabharata Murders is thus a vivid portrait of a human reality from which we all try to escape, often with tragic outcomes. At the same time, it is one of the most beautiful thrillers of recent years and is recommended to those who usually do not read such novels.

The Mahabharata Murders - Arnab Ray
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My Experience with Learning English Language

My Experience with Learning English Language

I've always been curious about languages since childhood. I was fascinated by the fact that people could communicate in so many different languages. I wondered what it would be like to learn any of them well. Living in a multilingual community helped me to understand that languages can be learned naturally.

My beginnings with English

My experience with English goes back to the 80s. In my case, I owe much of my passion for the English language to my high school teacher. She gave me the motivation to perfect each area of the language, which in the end would become the engine that would guide my life in the following years.

First contacts with regular English speakers

The determining moment of my relationship with English was the summer I spent in Shillong. Thanks to the efforts of my parents, I was able to experience an unforgettable experience by discovering the outside world and understanding that a knowledge of English can help conquer it.

From that moment on, studying and perfecting English was no longer something that served to pass exams. It became a vital necessity that I began to feed with all kinds of activities in English, such as reading, watching movies, and encounters with foreigners. As I got better, I felt a greater desire to go even further. At the same time, new personal and professional opportunities emerged to help me progress in the language.

If you want to learn English, you do not have to study English, but you have to 'Live' in English as much as you can. Of course, it is best to reside a season in an English-speaking area, but if that is not possible, there are endless ways to make English present in many areas of your life.

There are simple things like watching English movies, changing the language of your mobile, listening to English radio programs, conversations with English speakers on the internet. Today, all of this is within everyone's reach. We've never had it that easy.

Coming out of my comfort zone

Self-learning is fundamental, but in my case, I came to a point where it was difficult to advance much more without improving the theoretical basis. Therefore, I decided to enroll in the advanced courses which allowed me to acquire more skills in all areas, especially in vocabulary, new structures, and expressions. I bought several English grammar books and some vocabulary dictionaries.

As I became more and more familiar with English, I began to read entrepreneurship, psychology, or lifestyle books in that language. At the beginning, there were many words that I did not understand. Gradually I was assimilating the information and in this way, I understood more and more.

I admire an excellent native teacher whose unorthodox and motivational methods made learning a rewarding experience. In any case, if you want to improve your English, a quality course with native teachers can be helpful.

The result of all this process led me to an advanced knowledge of the language, but above all, it opened many doors for me personally and professionally. It is one of the personal achievements that I feel the proudest of, for the effort and for the enormous satisfaction of answering "Yes, I do" when someone asks me "Do you speak English?

My surprise came when my professor told me that they no longer had courses for my advanced level, but that, if I accepted, she would be delighted to have me counsel the present batch of new students.

Each time different students came to classes to practice English. Many of them entered the class grudgingly, as part of the compulsory nature of the program, but some others were enthusiastic about learning the language.

In general, each session consisted of discussing topics ranging from geography, personal relationships, travel, work, etc. Each one gave their point of view, while the rest of them waited for their companions to answer.

That's when I began to realize that there were students who, despite their lack of experience, threw themselves into the pool and spoke in English with confidence. Some of them paid attention to me. Others simply wanted to finish the university's English program because they cannot qualify without having passed all levels.

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The Truth About English Academies

Excited with the experience and determined to continue inspiring anyone who wanted to study English, I decided to look for a teacher's job. After offering my services at various academies, I was amazed by mass classrooms, old textbooks, teachers with minimal preparation or impossible promises such as learning English in a week.

Between one thing and another, I ended up entering an academy as a basic English teacher. The teaching material was a series of printable PDFs with lists of vocabulary, grammar points and small dialogues that introduce the student to the language. Basically, the student paid a high monthly fee to receive material that he could easily have found on the Internet and studied on his own. In fact, popular opinion had convinced them that if they wanted to learn English going to an academy was mandatory.

Going to an academy can be a good option when starting out. I always said to these students that if they want to advance in English and reach a level that they can feel proud of, they must study it on their own. You have to do more at home, read simple novels, listen to podcasts or chat with foreign friends.

A method for learning English that works

If you want to take the reins of your English learning, I recommend the following in each of the following stages. In the beginner phase, everything is new. The sounds seem very strange to you and you do not understand a single word. When faced with a text, the vocabulary is meaningless and the grammar seems to be completely different from your mother tongue.

At this stage, the brain, in addition to going through the process of absorbing large amounts of information, also needs time to get accustomed to new sounds, words and language structures. Set your personal goals. Commit to dedicate a few minutes a day to English. Put it in writing.

Find a good way to get started. The quality factor in the study of English is fundamental in the initial stages. For this reason, you must find a textbook that shows you the language progressively. A method of studying parallel texts in English and your mother tongue with associated audio is ideal. Take the text and read it. Listen to the audios and repeat them aloud.

Absorb every word. Play with the lesson. Ask yourself. Live the dialogue. Try to form your own phrases with what you have learned in each dialogue. Create your own dialogues. Slowly absorb the language. It is not about getting the perfect sentences. Complete it with stories for children, videos on YouTube and any type of material that provides you with basic grammatical structures and vocabulary.

The goal of this stage is to achieve a base in the language, with which you can communicate with a limited vocabulary, but broad enough to communicate your thoughts.

After a month or so, you should study more difficult textbooks. In addition, try to converse more in English. At this stage, many people are stuck forever. If you notice that you are stagnant, press a little and continue forward. Or change your strategy and do something else.

On many occasions, getting a teacher allows you to get out of that stalemate and gives you that push to the next level. Learn little by little and without pressure. Strive every day and be curious. Ask yourself questions and look for answers. Do not despair, everything will come. Be humble and face the fears. You are exposing yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Throw yourself into the void and build your own wings in free fall.

In the advanced stage, you can now use the language in real situations like reading novels, following podcasts and blogs or viewing TV series and movies. This allows you to increase your knowledge of the language without the need to use courses or books.

Motivation in the pure state

Thanks to my mastery of this language I can consume the best information worldwide, whether through blogs, e-books or videos on YouTube. I can watch English movies in original version without problems. I have friends from several countries with whom I communicate in English habitually. It has served me to be able to travel on multiple occasions to foreign lands and also to clear job and other interviews.

English has helped me to speak my own language better and to have a broader view of reality. It has allowed me to meet very interesting people. English is the communication tool of this century, and I dare to tell you without hesitation that if you do not know English you are at a disadvantage. If you do not know English you are a modern illiterate.

To end, learning English is not the end in itself, just a simple medium. It is a vehicle to get something more. English opens doors for you. It gives you possibilities and invites you to broaden your perception of events and life. Knowing English will change you forever. You will never be the same again after doing it and that, undoubtedly, is positive, since it implies personal growth.
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The Colorful Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in Goa

The Colorful Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in Goa

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Goa was coming to an end like every year. I was on my way back and could hear the fireworks from afar. As I approached the beach I started to see small vans with the rear open with statues of Ganesha. I could see more people walking down the street carrying clay idols in their hands or small statues. I knew I was going to the right place.

If on the other hand, the puddles made the path complicated, the children had become a greater threat. Apparently, during this festival, the children enjoy lighting firecrackers and throw them near the passersby. So the only option is to wait until they explode or to accelerate as much as you can to avoid them.

Part of me cursed them but then I remembered that when I was a kid I used to throw water balloons during Holi from the roofs of my friends' houses. I understood that it's all part of the childhood and take my curses back.

Driving to the place all I could think about was that perhaps the celebration won't be as grand and elaborate as Mumbai. But suddenly I heard the majestic sound of the drums that took away the idea away from my head. When the road finally ended on the beach and the sound of the drums had become more and more intense I knew it was time to park the bike.

I looked for a small place to do it and when I put my foot out of it I felt it sinking completely into the mud. My foot had disappeared and the mud reached me above my ankle. I did not give much importance since all I wanted to do was to get to see the show. The noise and the energy of the drums called me. I wanted to be there as soon as possible.

I moved my foot carefully to avoid breaking my soles and headed for the place. The rest of the way was absolutely the same, that was a small swamp created by the rains. The first image I see upon arrival is a cargo van full of Ganesh statues of all sizes and colors. Many people around them were praying. I took a couple of photos and headed to where the drums were.

It was a small area of the beach. Authorities had placed lights to illuminate the area and a circle had formed. The circle was delimited by men with drums and within this person danced rhythmically to the roar of the drum. They were only men. Women watched from the outside. In the distance, a few meters from the area of the drums I could see fireworks of different colors, and my curiosity forced me to go.

Before arriving at the place where the fireworks came I met a crowd of people. They were all gathered there and they had formed two lines with a corridor between them. On one side were all the statues of Ganesh on a small altar. Behind them was the family that had brought them. On the other side, there were only spectators. At the beginning of these ranks, several children began to pass, stopping in each of the idols to take some petals from the collars of flowers that enveloped Ganesha.

There were easily over 100 statues of different sizes all placed in a straight line on the shore of the beach. They were illuminated in different ways, mostly with candles. Many families had mounted a more complicated light system and in others, only one child held a small lamp.

Some of the people who passed beside brought containers with food and deposited a small offering to one side of Ganesh, mainly coconut or fruits. When they had finished making the trip and they had enough food they began to distribute it in the hands of the assistants to eat it. I went through each statue and could find each with different colors and adornments.

After an hour or two in this ceremony of offerings and prayers began the roar. I did not know exactly what happened until I saw it. People were taking the statues and carrying them into the water. These clay statues after the celebration are taken to the water to leave them there.

Among the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya, there was also the crying of some children who did not want to separate from the statues of Ganesh. The mother would comfort and separate the child while the father took the statue to the water.

According to custom, each year after the celebration people must buy another statue of Ganesh. This one must be of the same or greater size than the one of the previous year. It cannot be smaller. For this reason, some states are so large that it takes several people to load them up to the sea and put them in a fairly deep zone. And as always, my curiosity is such that I decided to follow the people in the water to observe this closely.

After a few minutes of immersing the statues into the water, the men return to the beach to pick up the table where the statue of Ganesh was kept and retire home. In less than 15 minutes, the beach got deserted, as if nothing had happened. I also went back to look for my motorcycle again, hoping that it had not been absorbed by the mud.

Returning to the hostel, I wanted to take a bath to remove the mud, sea water and anything else I could have been covered with. During my return, I just reflected on the diversity of customs in India, how different each one is and how lucky I was to live this festival.

India is a country of mixes, there are so many religions, customs and languages within the country that are intertwined one in the other in such a way that it looks like one, but it is not. Each region, city, and town has its own rituals and ideologies that coexist harmoniously. They say that every 100 km the language and customs changes. I certainly believe it.

India will teach you many things but what we should learn from this great country is tolerance in diversity and an example of how to live in peace amid the contrasts.
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