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“You know Atharva plays tabla very well.” She asked who is Atharva? Well this would have been a question few days back had I not attended our building’s society function recently. In Mumbai we are so busy, with our mobiles while walking, watching TV at home or with our daily chore that we hardly know our neighbors.

Ritesh, our neighbor 12 year old kid, is a very good dancer. I bet she didn’t know that either. I watched him dance in the same function.It is not her fault, we do not get much time to interact with the community either.

Almost for last so many years my perception of Ganesh utsav or Navratri used to be a lot of noise, drunk people, small time politicians making few bucks etc bad stuff. I never thought about these functions as a social gathering. The new area where we shifted after our marriage changed a lot of my perceptions. Two year back, I wrote on Ganesha festival, now my opinion has changed considerably. I watched not only people preparing for the festival sincerely but also saw it as an opportunity to provide kids a platform to perform. We may argue about devotion, blind faith and the pollution however, if we look positively eye we can see a lot of good things in these festivals. (If the video is slow to load Watch here)

When was the last time when you danced with your neighbor or an acquaintance on road or in a community hall? Forget with any neighbor, when was the last time you danced yourself in your drawing room? We are so busy with our jobs and social responsibility that we need special occasion for that. In fact we miss attending those special events too. Yes, I am talking about Navratri. Navratri is the time when 3X condoms are sold in Gujarat (Source – thatspersonal.com check research slide 12), but the same is a festival of music and dance too. My perspective has moved from condoms to music and dance.

Holi used to be a dreadful festival for me, I am afraid of those chemicals. I am dislike of the dirty ways it is played now a days. However, when I try to think of how it would have been in past, it reminds me of an Indian movie – Utsav. It feels good that this festival bring everyone together.

My opinions are changing – of course with riders – but now I see these festivals with more acceptance. In India we have reasons or occasions to celebrate everything. This everything includes start of each season. I think that was the way Indian society tried bringing the whole community together. Wonder if our society had realized that a time would come when people would just cross each other without looking (bothering to look) at each other. We need an invitation to talk too – Tube chat, however bad it feels, but we must mend our ways sooner. This is the case in Indian metro cities too, we fight for seats in local trains or in buses rarely speak with each other while commuting, except long distance local train commute where the network is very strong.

We are social animals and will behave like that. We not only will be on social network to be social but also will be around real people to be social.

Happy Dusserha

“Neighbors” was last week’s LBC (Loose Bloggers Consortium) topic, I couldnt write last week due to personal commitments and truth is last week I didnt have idea to write on this topic. Read thoughts of other two regular LBC authors – Rummuser and Shackman.

Video source – Scroll.in