Some festivals or occassions make their presence felt way before they are actually celebrated. Birthdays is one of them. If it is your friend's, sister's, or mother's birthday, and if you want to give a mighty surprise, you start preparing for it at least two weeks before. The plans to celebrate the birthday, gifts, people to be invited...it all is very exciting.
If it is your birthday, you can't think about anything else since at least a month before. I have that problem always. As soon as my sister's birthday is over in August, I dreamily start thinking about my own birthday. It never seems to come too soon! It's one of those wonderful occassions for me and it always gets over too soon.
Ganpati festival is one of such long expected festivals. At least a month before, you will see the dhol-tasha groups practising, the painters giving finishing touches to the Ganapati idols, and then pandals burgeoning on the city landscape. The ten days are over soon, though and it is rather dull when it is over.
This year, we are still to have the Navratri festival and guess what? People have already started advertising for Diwali. Perhaps for the tourism industry, it is a good time. They need to advertise so that they attract customers for the tours planned in the Diwali holidays. But I am seriously surprised about the number of advertisements about soaps, sweets, chocolates, electronic goods that I can see around that are advertised for Diwali. And we are not even done with Dussehra yet! Perpahs it isn't all new. But I find it extremely surprising.
We used to have Dussehra discounts before we moved on to Diwali bonanzas. Now we are already thinking beyond Dussehra! How strange!
Perhaps after the swine flu scare, everyone is eager for a nice, healthy celebration. I can't blame anyone. What I heard from one of the shopkeepers in Tulshibaug was that business had gone down by 70%. And that was right in the middle of the Ganesh festival, when you can't even think of entering Tulshibaug. Even when I went there for some shopping, I could actually drive into Tulshibaug and park my gadi there and walk in whatever shop I wanted without a thought to how crowded it would be. All shops were deserted.
Diwali is a much awaited festival and I am sure everyone is looking forward to it. I am no exception. I too am looking forward to the dazzling festival. I also hope that the early advertisements increase the much-needed cheer in the air!