Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dasain in Gangtok Today

Gangtok,October 6: The hills of Sikkim, Darjeeling are ready to celebrate Dasain today, setting aside for sometime the sorrow that had descended after the recent earthquake which took several lives and damaged properties. For the people in the hills it is that time of the year when those who stay away from their houses for their livelihood come to their hometown. “As always I am happy to be home to celebrate Dasain with my family. Last month’s earthquake certainly makes this Dasain a special one, especially so when my family and friends say that on September 18 they all got a second birth,” said Anita Chhetri, a call centre executive who stays in Bangalore. With the region still recovering from the losses caused by the tremors, which also triggered a series of landslides, many families have chosen to tone down the celebrations. “The excitement and the vigour are not quite there. We don’t feel like celebrating knowing that there are people who do not have roof over their heads,” said Kritika Moktan, a senior analyst who works in Delhi. For most people who stay elsewhere, this year’s Dasain is a mix of happiness and gloom. While there is the joy of meeting family and friends, there is also a sense of loss. Prakash Sharma who stays in Mumbai said he would be spending the next few days with his family and friends in Gangtok.“Frankly, I did not understand the impact the quake had on the people here while I was in Mumbai. It is only over the last two days after I met my friends here that I am beginning to get a sense of the magnitude of the impact,” he said. Prakash added that there is more reason for him to celebrate Dasain this year because his family members and friends are all safe. “The close shave gives me all the more reason to celebrate this year’s Dasain. A few seconds here and there, and it could have been a different story altogether,,” he said. The Gorkhas or Nepalis celebrate Dasain by seeking blessings from the elders of the family. The elder members apply tika (made of rice and curd) on the foreheads of the young people and bless them. The family members gather for a feast to complete the celebrations.

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