Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today is Holi.

I reminded my child of this festival and like an automated toy, she regurgitated the story of Prahlad, Hiranakashyapu, and his demon sister after whom the festival is named.
My child knows me so well, and remembers all the stories I gave her, I thought in congratulation.
In the next breath, she reminded me that she also has her FCAT's today.
So much for reinforcing ethnic heritage, I resignedly thought.

However, Holi, like Navratri and Diwali, feels exceptional: nothing can dampen my spirits today. Not my desk groaning under titanic loads of ungraded student papers, not my full inbox demanding urgent acknowledgements and replies, not the broken A/C in my classrooms, and definitely not my child's insistence that I inhabit the physical, geographical space I have chosen as my home and deny galaxies of times past spinning constantly in my head.

A couple of weeks from today, the local South Asian community is having one of its get-togethers to celebrate Holi and then, my child might feel a bit of the magic connected to this day that welcomes the Spring. I shall always be grateful for such melas: they reinforce my ethnic heritage to my child more than I ever can hope to with my isolated voice telling stories.

Since today is also a work day, there is little chance of my visiting the local temple to offer the gods tokens of gratitude for colors and Spring, or for a much-needed visit to the beach to watch the indescribably beautiful Spring full moon rise.

These words shall have to suffice for today: I remember and know, therefore I am.

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