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Navratri – “Playing Garba with a Concoction of Emotions”

05th October 2022

Who is more powerful, a “Man” or a “Woman”? Well, the gods answered this question when a powerful, mighty and aggressive goddess defeated the fearless demon called Mahishasura. After a long vicious battle of nine days without resting, she slayed the devil on the tenth day, known as “Vijaya Dashami”. The goddess was bestowed with special weapons by respective gods like Lord Vishnu gave Chakra, Lord Shiva gave Trident, Lord Agni gave Sathagni, Lord Indra blessed her with Vajra, Lord Brahma gave a holy water vessel, Lord Vayu blessed her with an ever-full quiver and a bow, Tvashtra (an engineer who designed various weapons for gods) gave her armor, and Lord Surya blessed her with his blinding rays. The beautiful goddess with deadly weapons became an answer to how a woman can take over an unbeatable.

The celebration of Navratri is incomplete without witnessing or playing Garba. “Garba” in Sanskrit means womb. Hence, Garba is a folk dance that respects Goddess Durga, symbolizing the cyclical nature of all living organisms.

Why do I say that it is not only a folk dance but also a concoction of emotions? There are predominantly nine emotions (Navarasa) that define our lives. For me, Garba brings out these Navarasas in me whenever I dance. It’s fascinating to feel and express all these nine emotions as I love, laugh, and remind myself of sorrows that turn into aggressive spins and jumps, getting surprised by my fellow dancers’ moves, and ending the hours of dance with peace and happiness.

The same emotions were experienced on 30th September 2022 at Symbiosis, Hyderabad Campus, when we all gathered for a Garba Night. I danced, letting out all my emotions and carrying tears of joy in my eyes. I felt like my mind was making my body dance involuntarily. After a point, I was so engrossed in dancing that I was asked by others, “Are you a Gujarati?”

The happiness that I got from two hours of relentless dancing is inexplicable. With all the devotion and spirituality, Garba is an emotion in itself.

Ramanathan Anantharaman
(MBA Batch 2021-23)
InkSleuths – The Literary Committee

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