Holi is a new start of the new year. For me it truly is, as Pranaya starts school the day after Holi. It is a momentous step in my life. I feel like a huge parting is coming my way. Once a child starts school , he/she never comes back. The umbilical cord breaks not at the operation table in the hospital but when the child starts school. I remember crying on the steps when Devika had joined Sunflower Nursery.
Sunflower Nursery was such a lovely name for pre school. I could imagine the children being nurtured and ready to take on the world garden.The teacher was this old catholic lady running it in her huge house. She only had old wooden toys (no plastic or lead "lets get you intelligent now" toys). There was a grand old Piano sitting in her living room which she used to play everyday and sing with the children. I had walked into their singing time when I first visited the Nursery. Family photographs, victorian furniture and school chairs sat comfortably around the whole house. There was a pet bull dog who was so loving. Children loved having him around. So all those pet therapies, loving your animals etc was taken care of. Only difference was, all this came naturally to the lady running the school. Not those schools run by these young dynamic women who want to give it all to my child- education, motor skills, social manners, trips to supermarkets and all things about festivals.
This Nursery took your child to the post office that too walking. They bought a stamp and posted a card drawn by the children to their mothers. I was so so thrilled to receive that in post as the only things we see in post now a days are bank mailers.
One thing fascinating about Jharia holis was Paani Puris and dahi wadas made at home. It was all prepared the day before so the mothers could also be free from the kitchen.Moms didnt play holi , fathers did. Children got a tub full of water in the aangan.All fathers went to damodar river for a bath after playing holi.
One year we were back from a long two month trip to gujarat by car. We had done lot of Darshans at all temples and washed our sins away in every river possible in the winters. My younger sis was just six months old that time. She loved river bathing the most and she was given dips even in streams. We never caught colds and never ever carried medicines on any trips.Mom taught me- We never plan for calamities only good things in life. So on every trip of hers to any city , she carried some really heavy sarees. Pata nahin kab kiski shaadi fix ho jaaye aur hamein attend karni pade. For years I was always so irritated with her packing these jari waali sarees. Now I really get the point - Living in abundance and celebration.
Ok so on our way back from this gujarat trip, all roads were lined with orange flowers. We called them ' Kesuda na phool' and a friend just informed it is called Tesu. Krishna Bhagwan played holi with these flowers. So lots of flowers were picked from the road and put in the car boot. We called it the dicky those days. Mom and Gran told me all stories about Krishna Leela.
That year we played holi with kesuda na phool. Au Natural....