The biggest religious festival of India is round the corner. My daughter was describing the festive spirit of Delhi during Diwali and I thought about the spirit of this festival in the southern part of India. As we were discussing how this festival encompasses almost the entire country, we also realised that the same fervour may not exist in the north eastern part of the country or in Kashmir. However, the point is that this festival of lights is celebrated in most parts of this country. After I spoke to her, I thought about the memoreis that I have had of this festival. My childhood memories of Diwali are of in and around Kolkata, and have different flavours.
The other day I was having a chat with my partner about a dream in which he and a long dead prominent political figure were having a discussion about the future of socialism and capitalism in India and how the political figure felt quite agitated about the current condition of Indian political scenario, etc. As the content of the dream was quite interesting, we started discussing the idea of politics and its linkages to mass organised religion. While on this, the threads turned from the dream to our respective political and ideological leanings, beliefs, likes and dislikes and pet peeves and opinions, etc., and as it happens we ended up having a rather heated conversation around all of those threads. The conversation left me quite pensive about the some of the difficulties that I face when I come face to face to with “in your face” expression of what one can call religiosity or spirituality. As I looked back in