Time hasn’t stopped and Navaratri has already come. But my favorite cousin Arjun is not able to come from the US due to the pandemic. Do you know why he is my favorite? He is just 3 months younger than me, that’s why. So, is the case with my other cousins as well. My parents have planned the family get-together during this year Navarathri. The plans were made in 2019 itself and all my cousins were supposed to join me in Chennai for the Golu fun and then later fly to Jamshedpur to join the Pandal hopping fun. But, this pandemic has spoiled all our plans. So, how are your “Navaratri celebrations in the new Normal World“?
But, I do have a better idea as to how to celebrate Navarathri with my cousins this year. We will not only be having Golu but also do pandal hopping. Wondering how that’s possible? We are going into the virtual model, as the entire world is moving and thriving on the zoom calls, we have decided that we will have the celebrations on the zoom call. We, cousins, have split the tasks between all of us so that each of us can handle one area completely. My task is to compile a list of books that all of us can read to understand the culture and traditions behind Navarathri. Only if we understand those minute details, then our “Navaratri Celebrations in the new normal world” would make more sense, isn’t it? I took my mom’s help in choosing books for all my cousins. Want to know which books I had picked up? My mom says that:
Books are the best gifts to children of all ages, as they open the windows to the world.
1. Golu Festival of Dolls from Story Weaver
This book (“Golu Festival of Dolls” from Story Weaver) is for the youngest of my cousins. He is just two years old and my aunt has started reading books to him at night, before going to bed. So, my mom thought that this book would be interesting to him, as it would explain to him the concept behind Golu. Storyweaver books are always good to read.
2. Celebrate Durga Puja with Me! by Shoumi Sen
This book introduces the Bengali version of Navaratri celebrations, which is in fact new to me. So I read this book as soon as my mom ordered it for my other younger cousin. It’s a fabulous book and now I have to tell my cousins in Jamshedpur to take us for a virtual visit to Pandals this time, as we cant go for pandal hopping. Pandals are a unique concept for people in Chennai. I would love to visit them sometime in the future. This book is fun to read for young kids. I wish I saw this book earlier itself. I like the tone in which the story is narrated in a rhyming way.
3. Amma, tell me about Durga Puja by Bhakti Mathur
Amma Tell Me series books are really fun to read when we just start reading. I had this book with me for a long time. So, I advised my mom to pick up this book for the next youngest cousin, who is 5 years old. Let him also start reading books like me, starting with these series.
4. Devi’s The Mother Goddesses from OM Books
One of my elder cousins wanted to understand in detail about the nine avatars of Maa Durga and the reason why she had taken 9 different rupams during this Navaratri period. So, my mom got “Devi’s The Mother Goddesses” book from OM Books for her on Amazon. I read this book last year. This book introduces all the avatars of Mother Goddess in an entertaining and informative way. I liked the information about Ambika in this book. That was the first time, I heard the name Ambika actually. This book depicts the deeper meanings hidden in the Navaratri celebrations.
5. Ravana refuses to die by Rustom Dadachanji.
My mom told me that it’s one of those detective stories centered around Dussehra or Navaratri celebrations. My elder cousins are really into reading books that are full of puzzles or detective series. My mom gifted them her friend’s detective stories a few months back. So she picked up this book for them. Those books still seem boring and heavy for me. That’s why I am yet to read this book. This book is available on Amazon.
6. Let’s Celebrate Navaratri! (Nine Nights of Dancing and Fun)
This is one book, which describes Navaratri celebrations across India. As our country is really huge, the Navaratri is celebrated in different forms across the country. This book though primarily concentrates on the celebrations in Gujarat, it gives a brief idea about different forms of celebrations across India.
7. Last but not least, my book about Indian Mythological Friends.
I and my mom have released our second book, “My Friends from Indian Mythology” – Not So Popular only two days back. This book is a must-read if one wants to get introduced to various not so popular characters in Indian Mythology. Of course, we are planning to give it as a gift to all my cousins, through Amazon Kindle. Here is the book in case if you guys want to read it.
Of course, this is just one part of the work. In case if you want to join us in our “Navaratri celebrations in the new normal world“, then you need to follow my blog for the next posts. There are a lot of aspects which my cousins have covered to make this festival very exciting for all of us. We are roping even our grandparents into these celebrations. Also, we do have new guests this time. Can you guess who they are? They are none other than the famous, #Nina and #Nana from Nina Nana comic series and #Ambu maami. Won’t it be exciting to meet them and talk to them about their experiences during this festive season? Then follow me and my mom’s friends Lavanya, Kanika, and Jayanthi blogs for further updates.