This happens every year. Not just to me, but to all Gujaratis in the country and around the world. Monsoons end and we all get itchy feet. We carry around beats of garba-raas in our heads and try not to clap, leap, swirl in middle of a mundane conversation-we then know, Goddess is sure to arrive.With subdued excitement we get out our mirrored costumes and "dandiyas".Families play garba music and mothers train children in the ways to welcome the goddess-with lots of music, lots of dance.
Then follow, Navratri, "Nine nights" of dancing in circles, circles of many hundreds, thousand, one inside another all the way to the goddess herself, sitting on her tiger, and watching us with an indulgent smile. Clap, swirl, forward, backward, non-tiringly to an ever quickening beat till only the most proficient and hardy remain to a heady crescendo while most watch on in admiration and awe. And then, the dancing begins again, all over again, the Raas this time- a partner dance again in circles-the celestial dance of Krishna with Gopis-the same dance to welcome the daughter goddess home to her earthly abode. Hands hurt, legs ache, bare feet blister with the constant pounding on the earthern floors-yet the heart laughs and people shout "let the dancing continue".