A ‘manja’ to cut your concerns!  

Festivals have always been a time to come together and celebrate.

Published: 13th January 2022 03:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 03:21 AM   |  A+A-

Kite, Sankranti, Hyderabad

Representational Image

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Festivals have always been a time to come together and celebrate. They bring unparalleled joy and excitement to people’s lives, but over the last couple of years, they’ve become a cause of concern. The term ‘come together’ is enough to fuel anxiety these days!

The usual questions of ‘where are we meeting?’, ‘what are we eating?’ have been replaced by ‘is everyone there vaccinated?’, ‘will people be wearing masks?’. As the pandemic stretches into its third calendar year (it actually has been that long!), every occasion that requires people to come together -- happy or sad -- has become a cause of major concern.

However, one festival that remains unaffected is Sankranti. The harvest festival has been socially distanced for ages! The rules of Sankranti do not allow people to stand in a closed group. If you’re flying kites against each other, you can’t be on the same roof. If you’re flying kites from the same roof you need to have 20 feet between you (according to NASA).

And, if you’re given the boring (yes, they lied to you when they said it’s important) task of winding the string on the ‘chakri’, you have to maintain at least a few feet between you and the pilot of the kite, or you run the risk of getting an unintentional punch in your face. 

On the ground too, this festival leaves no room for concern. The entrances of people’s houses are brightened by colourful patterns that take hours to make. Everyone is busy in front of their own door and usually doors of houses are socially distanced by design! 

Also, this is one of those beautiful outdoor festivals that takes ‘closed spaces’ out of the equation. The only closed space that you go to is your own home because you’re tired from all the above activities, have a feast and go to bed early! 

This means, all you need to do is wear a mask when you go and get your kites and colours, and you can skip the anxiety of rising cases. Just know where the boundary of your terrace is, the difference between a live wire and a ‘manja’, and you can celebrate the festival like the pandemic never happened!

(Bhavneet is a stand-up comedian and this may be his new material)


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