Ten days of revelry, ten days of carnival, ten whole days of festivities surrounding us. Navratri is always one of the most awaited celebrations in India. Navratri marks the homecoming of several individuals across the country. Families become whole again with the arrival of the Goddess. It’s the constant cycle of waiting that takes over with the burning of Ravana’s effigy and the immersion of the idols. For several families across the country Dussehra not just marks the end of Navratri, but brings forth an overwhelming sadness – a sadness at the end of the carnivalesque, a sadness of having to bid goodbye to beloved family members travelling back to their cities and countries of work, a sadness of waiting another year for these ten days.
Apartment communities and housing societies are beautiful conglomerates of several families living together. Each of them facing similar emptiness. This is the perfect time to organise the post Dussehra get together to help each other transition back to the usual after ten days of merrymaking.
Organise A Feast
Bring on the community spirit to do a community cookout. Most apartment communities organise grand Navaratri celebrations. While spending the collected funds for different programmes, earmark a small sum for this post Dussehra feast. Keep the menu simple. Something like rice and meat curry for the meat loving neighbours or Butter Nan and Paneer Butter Masala for the vegetarians. Plan this on the first weekend post Dussehra. Get together and cook yourselves. It’s an absolute delight to have neighbours coming together and taking over the tasks to prep the food. Pep it up. Divide everyone in groups. The onion chopping group, the garlic paste makers, the dough makers – you get the drift. Let them compete with each other. Let prizes be an extra sondesh or an extra scoop of ice cream as desserts.
Relive The Good Ol’ Days Of Your Childhood
Have a game night. Let the children of the community organise this. The benefit is two fold – the children can learn the responsibilities and logistics involved in organising a group activity and it’s an excellent fun activity to shake off the post – Dussehra heaviness. Go back to your childhood. Play Antakshari, Gutte/Five Stones/Kallangal/Anchangal, Lakhoti, Hopscotch, Gilli Danda, Lattoo, Paper Dance, Satoliya, Kabaddi or Kho Kho.
Here’s a little something in this link to help you with the game rules.
Have A Musical Evening
A common post on Twitter doing the rounds these days, ends with the following lines – “Sing offkey, draw poorly, write badly.”
A post Dussehra musical evening in the apartment community need not be a soiree of expert singers. Sing among yourselves. It need not be perfect. The objective is to foster a spirit of happiness and to help each other cope with the end of one of the festive galas of the country. Perfection isn’t a priority here. If you want to go a step ahead, plan a musical drama using basic available props in the ambit of your household. Write your own script, compose your own songs and have a blast.
There’s nothing more relaxing than an ADDA
No no. Not our apartment management software ADDA. But the inspiration behind our name – a place where people gather for a conversation. Talk to each other. Share anecdotes from your lives. Have a grand laugh. Have funny videos? Share it with your neighbours. Perhaps bring out the old albums and browse through them with your neighbours on the terrace over a few cups of chai/coffee. (Don’t forget to put Goodnight Fabric Roll On to keep the mosquitoes at bay). Maybe get the laptops out and the newly weds in the community can show off their wedding videos too. There are endless list of things to do during an ADDA. Endless things that provide homely comfort.
Plan A Community Movie Night
Get the chips, get the huge family bottles of cold drinks, hire a projector and basic speakers in case your community clubhouse isn’t already equipped with these and have a movie night. Use your ADDA Polls to figure out which movie is a popular choice. Perhaps ditch theatre seating for a simple mat on the floor community seating.
When Navratri has been such a bang, then why not Dussehra and the days after that? We wish you a beautiful, happening, cheerful Dussehra.
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