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Dashain: Escape from Everything

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The green paddy field has now changed its color to yellow and is blooming with pride spreading its enchanting aroma signifying the arrival of Dashain. The houses are being cleaned, well mopped and decorated like a newlywed bride.

Ask a child, “What is your favorite part about Dashain?” S/he will reply within a jiffy,” Buying new clothes.” The shopkeepers are immensely happy for getting more customers and so are the customers for getting flat discount on different commodities. The air is filled with Dashain vibes as our favorite “Malashree Dhun” is played in every nook and cranny of the streets. You cannot stop wondering how rich we are in terms of cultures, traditions, and the festivals.

Whatsoever Dashain has finally started? The long-awaited moment has finally arrived for all of us, especially to the people working here in the capital. They are more than happy to return to their village where their heart resides. The fifteen days long festival is a kind of freedom. Freedom from the daily hectic schedules, freedom from all kinds of stress and tensions and yes, freedom from the noise. These days are all about enjoying, eating and cherishing each moment passing by and of course collecting lots and lots of memories for a lifetime.

The hopeful eye of mother eagerly waiting for her son to come this year finally sparkles with glee with his arrival. The wife is also delighted to see her husband after such a long time. The children are dancing with joy as they get to wrap themselves in the warm hug of their father. The whole house brightens up by the presence of all the members of the family. The room is filled with gossips widely ranging from the politics to the new restaurant open in the village. The laughter and giggles finally mark the arrival of Dashain.

Dashain is incomplete without delicious and finger-licking food prepared by dear mother which tickles your tastebuds. The perfectly roasted meat with bitten rice becomes a great combo with a glass of coke. The menu becomes almost the same for the entire fifteen days except for some slight variations. That doesn’t matter much because it’s the only time of the year where you get to eat meat day and night and fill your tummy with it. Another thing which plays a significant part in Dashain celebration is undoubtedly ‘Selroti’.  Selroti seems to be a perfect breakfast and lunch too. And the best thing about it is it is liked by all no matter what age group they belong to.

Dashain is not only a festival; it is a lot more than that. Dashain is an opportunity to know your family better, to get along with them and more than that to forget everything and live in the present. I sometimes wonder if there hadn’t been festivals like Dashain would we, siblings be so close to each other? Would we share the same bonds as we are sharing now? Probably not because we would not get time to get out of that busy virtual world and live in the real world. We are so busy flaunting our photographs in the social sites that we have forgotten about our real social life. So, this time is essential to get closer to your family and more than that to get closer to yourself and know yourself better.

The Kathmandu valley becomes vacant as the mass exodus leaves the valley except for some few local people. The roads which used to be overcrowded now suddenly become empty and peaceful. The Kathmandu valley seems to be silent than ever, on the other hand, villages are filled with laughter, tunes of Dashain songs. The swings gear up high aiming to touch the sky and the colorful kites seems to add vibrant colour to the environment. Everyone is happy, as the festive seasons hit on and the festive mood is created. The main day finally arrives, with all joy and excitement; people are ready to receive tika and blessings from the elders.

The chanting of mantras along with the money and the blessings are the best part of this day. The children are busy counting the money and comparing with others’ while elders are busy giving blessings and we have teenagers like us who are either busy clicking pictures or playing cards. Different age groups have different flavors, tastes but this festival binds all together.

The crowded village also gradually starts to get empty with all members returning to the valley. Everything starts to get back to normal. The swings no longer get visitors and the houses now no longer are filled with giggles instead there is a hustle, hustle to get back to the normal life and work endlessly and tirelessly for living. Now, the eyes of the mother are filled with tears as all her children leave the house one by one. She slowly wipes her tears and gets inside the house and again eagerly waits for another Dashain to arrive so that she could see her children again…

Anupa Khanal