Navarathri has been my favourite festivals ever since my childhood days.
It was fun arranging the steps with tin boxes, cartons, newspapers, bricks and all things under the Sun. Those were the days we did not have ready made steps in slotted angles. We had seen the wooden steps with screws and padlocks, but.
The 'making' of the steps used to take a full day and we used to end up with placing a single 'Ganesha' idol in one of the steps just to carry over the rest of the steps to the next day.
Arranging the 'Dasavatharam' dolls always caused arguments. And the 'panchangam' was used to settle the issues - I mean the order in which they were to be placed. The 'marapachis' had the finest of the costumes made by me and my sister.
The happiest moments were dressing up in the evenings. I used to be a doll in the hands of my sister. She dressed me up with different accessories on all the nine days. Have you heard of 'tights' sari? It had an extra wrap after the pleats. With a short sling hand bag, I used to look like a foreigner in sari.
On some other day, the long plait was decorated with a pad of flower arrangements!
When I see young girls in traditional long skirts these days on such occasions, I say to myself - 'Hey, girls! There is much more than this simple pavadai during Navrathri!