Anita Nahal

Festivals of Life

I celebrate you. I celebrate me. The loves, the losses, the tears, the smiles like freshly unwrapped orange skin peels, that I inhale deep. My lengthy, unfulfilled sighs saunter away like cool early morning mists…heavy but pretending to be light. And when I pinch the orange skin on my face, droplets of invigorating desires tingle down cheeks and neck. I know inside, in that place no one can reach, I am always celebrating you and me. Notionally. Emotionally. Soul to the mysteries of existence. I celebrate life like just out the oven my beloved shortbread cookies. Like my mom’s steaming just out the wok wheat flour halwa. Like the besan ladoos I roll in my non buttered dry hands, before laying them on wax sheets. Like smooth sips of Tequila and Grand Marnier. I celebrate life like the first spray of hot showers, like the slow jogging after months of hamstring pulls, like the playful wrestling with our furry dog, like the cheery full hearted laughs of my child. And when festivals come around, I applaud all by stepping into their nuances, draping them around me like supple tissues hugging Christmas gifts. Like the convivial Diwali lights swathed around balcony ledges or the powdery colors of Holi sun bathing on my clothes and skin. All are me and I am all. I am an Earthian and all cultures reside, collide and hobnob in me and in the myriad dimensions you and I cannot see but can visualize in lights and reflections. Why, then just why, do you question, who am I or why do I celebrate you if I am not you?

Halwa: A porridge like dessert made form wheat flour, ghee(pure butter), water and sugar Besan Ladoos: Chickpea powder with water, sugar and ground cardamon ball shaped dessert Diwali & Holi: Cultural festivals of India

Anita Nahal, Ph.D., CDP is a professor, poet, short story writer, flash fictionist and children’s writer. She teaches at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC. Anita has two books of poetry, one book of flash fictions, and four books for children to her credit besides one edited poetry anthology. Two books of hers are prescribed on university syllabus at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. Originally from New Delhi, India, she is the daughter of novelist Chaman Nahal and of educationist Sudarshana Nahal.She lives in the US with her son, daughter-in-law and golden doodle. For more: