What is your identity and how do you associate or distinguish yourself from others? Is it how you see yourself once you have reached a certain age, or, is it your upbringing? Perhaps it is a bit of both. A delicate interlace between your upkeep and your childhood that defines you for who you are and what you want to become.
“This Durga Puja, I wanted to dedicate a post to the place and culture I was born and raised into”
This Durga Puja’2017, I wanted to dedicate a post to the place I was born and the culture I was raised into. A place that helped me decide and make my own choices to become the person I am today, with all the little to big qualities people know me for.
I do not miss any opportunity of mentioning Shillong, it’s true. But it is all for the love of the place I was born in. A place where I learned that despite linguistic preferences and cultural differences, you can love and make lifetime friends. A place where the common language spoken and understood is music and harmony.
Despite having a diverse culture, Shillong celebrates all its festivals, be it Christmas or Durga Puja, with grandeur. The town has a western style of living and I am lucky that being a Bengali I got the chance to absorb the best of both the worlds. I grew up in a liberal environment where I familiarized myself with all the different genres of western music while taking lessons in Tagore songs and classical Indian music.
While my mother simultaneously educated me about the importance of a strong woman in a family, Shillong being a matriarchal society, I understood how powerful a woman’s role in the society could be. I also consider myself lucky being brought up by parents who share a strong bond of friendship and love, for it is from them that I realized that women and men, even if they do not share the same kind of responsibilities, share the equal amount of burden of raising a family and hence should be treated equally.
I can never forget my childhood days when we used to be so excited about Durga Puja. Those long walks wearing our most expensive clothing and purchases, miles of walks pandal hopping, limping with gravely injured feet because of the newly bought shoes matching every outfit, yet, we would endure the pain for the sake of looking good and well, finding love. Oh, those were the days.
Such fond memories and here I am today, sitting and writing about days I then thought would be and feel the same forever. But then, I guess that is why memories are made, so you can smile when you summon them in your mind and think of what they made you, no?
Hope you liked the post. Hope you all had a fun filled Durga Pujo, Dusshera and Navratri.
Lots of love from the Skulls And Tulles Team.
Top: Dhara , a traditional dress worn by the Khasi women in Shillong.