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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calendared Moodswings

Hate is a strong word. I don’t use it often. But in this context I am using it … or rather my heart compels me to do so….
No, not a person nor an object nor any food. I hate something abstract.. I hate a certain period of time. I hate three months in a year….for their bleakness, for their uneventfulness, for their all-work-and-no-play nature. I hate the months of May, June, July! And my hatred has almost reached a crescendo as I sit here, almost on the threshold of my days of sorrow……
***
Our country is a land of diversities in everything one lays one’s eyes on. From languages to rituals, colours of its people’s skin to cuisines, traditions to local costumes, everything is in multitudes! So when it comes to holidays, it’s an assortment of the various religious, social, cultural celebrations, anniversaries and national days of pride thrown in, in full measure. The whole year or for that matter a major part of the year is sprinkled by generous servings of holidays! A saying in Bengali aptly describes this state of affairs Baaro Maashe Tyaro Parbon whose literal translation would be - Thirteen festivities in twelve months.

And that’s where my heartburn comes into the picture….amidst a plethora of holidays round the year, why didn’t the months of May, June, July get at least one or two! Why are the poor months stark, unwelcome, barren periods devoid of happiness ..ahem…holidays! Unfair, biased, deprived trio...my heart screams out!

Every year, during January, when the holiday calendar is first displayed, I take my first peek ...with anticipation and excitement….the first look would always be at September-October, to check up when Pujo would be and which day of the week the Dussehra/Bijoya Dashami falls. That triggers my mental holiday planner and from the first of January, my plans for the Pujo vacation starts taking shape. This is closely followed by the cheerful winter months and the summery fiesta.

In my personal context, the 'bright & cheerful' season begins in August! That’s when my very own happy days begin… when there’s a spring in my step, dreaming of the upcoming festivities, and of course, the patriotism induced glee (!). In September – October, my joy knows no bounds and again October – November, arent bad either, what with Diwali, Id, Guru Nanak Jayanti all tumbling around in the calendar, bumping into one another. And December, with birthdays (OK no holidays, but still cause for celebration!!), Christmas, New Years and of course the wonderful holiday-mood-inducing-weather, is a joyous month indeed! January isn’t bad either and in February, it being our organization’s birthmonth, we are privileged to have an exclusive holiday!!! March also has its share of colourful mirth and my foster-state’s new year’s etc etc! and April is just about tolerable with a day of holiday thrown in!

And then tragedy strikes!!! Gloom descends. And along with the sweltering heat and thereafter downcast skies, my mood also oscillates between grouchy irritability to utmost melancholy. There’s not a day to look forward to….stark barrenness stares me in the face making me dejected ….making me wish away the three months from the calendar…making me crave for the light at the end of the tunnel - the auspicious August when Vignavidhaata arrives to remove all obstacles in the path of my mental peace and gives me FREEDOM from depression & deprivation!

Statutory Warning : May you all not BURN in envy reading the list of holidays during my nine HAPPY months!

I continue to be, as informed earlier, an underpaid and overworked employee. But the red spots on the calendar do give me immense pleasure. And whenever SD & AD enjoy their holidays (which are many more than my measly numbers), I dont hesitate in indulging in a Casual Leave or two....joining in the fun!!!!
For your peace of mind, let me reiterate.....My Holiday Count, unfortunately, continues to be a depressing 10 per year! sob sob sob....

35 comments:

Kavi said...

Thats an interesting and different take on the holiday season.

13 festivities in 12 months is something indeed ! i never saw it that way.

For a very long time, life meandered from holiday to holiday. And that very long time was not very long ago. it was as recent as the last holiday !!

:)

SGD said...

@Kavi-Trying to make me jealous?? ;)

I too had two holidays this month!! Yippeeee
But from next month.... *sigh*

SSQuo said...

I so relate to this because whenever a holiday/long weekend is coming to an end, the question that is a must is - so what's the next one? And then depending on where we are we end up brooding or get suddenly enthusiastic. The gloom provided by the culimnation of this current break sweeps away.

Yes, you sure have less vacation time, so this means two weeks technically right including the weekends? Oquai has 4 weeks!!! And often makes me realize it. Its gruesome since I get two weeks myself. Grrrr.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Being a teacher, I am definitely in the opposite camp here. May and June means 40 days of uninterrupted summer vacations, free time with the kids. July is barren, no doubt, but after a month and a half of holidays, I kind of look forward to escaping to work.

SGD said...

@SSQuo-All in the same boat, I guess!! :(
Who's Oquai? Hubby?
That's tragically gruesome when the hubs has more holidays than us!! I just burn with rage & envy!! ;))))

@Sucharita-Lucky you!! But as you said, too long a break, can be boring!! We are so sooo very difficult to please!! ;)))

Aniket said...

I used to love the months on April , May & June as a kid. Coz that meant an hr of extra playtime to us. One extra cricket match could fit in before the sun goes down. :-)

But no more now. Now I am also in the pathetic 10 holidays in a yr league.

45 days vacation used to pass by in a jiffy when we were kids. And now if we get a friday or a monday off... We call it a "longweekend vacation" in office. Seriously!

One extra day away from office space seems a bliss.

Chronicwriter said...

guys should also become prgnant..

adding to that you have lot of holidays too

chriz

Pradip Biswas said...

April to July there is another festival. Marriages take place and cards/teleinvitations continually keep on coming. In our time this period was a fun time. Now hardly anyone attends marriages or take their children to village home during summer breaks.

workhard said...

Im sure, holidays would be such a blessing when u are over worked...


Haiku Poems

Lazyani said...

SGD, that's where we the Kolkatans score over others. We can always bank on a Bandh or two in these three months, here. And of course, there are at least two days work stoppage due to water logging.

Anyways, my first comment at your site and I promise to come back for more.Thanks for your comments at my site too.

HR said...

The weather God is absolutely ruthless during summer days throughout the country. The cruelty of heat wave inflicting excruciating pain leave us half roasted with no sign of succour till rain pours in.So many deaths are reported everyday due to immense heat wave generated in the plain land of the country. Who is to be blamed for that? In the first instance the name of GOD triggers in our mind. But it is not so. We, fellow citizens of our nation are responsible for the cause of such pitiable and helpless conditions during summer days. We need to take course of deforestation to accommodate the pressure of overgrowing population. Rampant felling of trees is very common in cities to broaden roads or filling up water bodies to construct houses is also not uncommon. Where from rain will generate then?It is easy to blame rain GOD but have we ever tried to find out our own faults? It is absolutely necessary to check the population outburst, increase awareness among people, make concerted effort to stop deforestation, encourage afforestation, save water bodies and last but not least, control pollution as a part of anti global warming program. Rains are for sure to shower to alleviate our pains.

Sorry, I swayed from the real sense of the write up. The author wished that the uneventful & barren threesome (may,june & july ) should vanish from the calender. I feel she forgot to mention that one festival is celebrated with lot of gaiety during end June/early July in the state of Orissa and parts of Bengal.The divine chariot journey of Lord Jagganath, Lord Bhalabhadra and Goddess Subhadra from home to aunt's place is celebrated with lot of glee. In local terms it is called Rath Yatra.

Nice write up once again. Hope to see more interesting subjects ahead. All the best!!!!....

SGD said...

@Aniket-Oh dear....you made me sad again....during school days, the months of apr, may were such fun , werent they!! Summer vacation!!! And then june, july too...with occasional flooding of the roads due to excessive rain & a rainy day holiday!!! Ooooo.....lovely lovely days!
But alas....nothing good lasts forever, do they ! And during those days we felt how fun it would be to be all grown up!!! Life is nothing but a series of illusions...... :(

@Chronicwriter- Sorry ! Couldnt really get what you're trying to say....maybe the summer heat is making me dull !

Deeps said...

Hey,SGD..came here to thank you for dropping by my blog.Blogrolling you.Will look forward to reading you more often:)

SGD said...

@PB-How true....the wedding season! But I do sympathise with summer brides & grooms....sitting in the wedding finery in the sweltering heat.....GAWD!!
But unfortunately though weddings are festivities indeed, no holidays to go with them! :((((

@WH-Holidays are ALWAYS blessings, arent they? Thanks for stopping by...

@Lazyani-Oh how I miss the bandhs & the waterlogging leading to RAINY DAY CLs!! here in Hyd, we get to know of bandhs after a normal routine day through the evening news or the next days newspaper!! how dull & boring!!!
Thanks for visiting and hope to 'see' you often! :)

@HR-True the abnormal heat and the sudden change in the weather patter is due to our unrestrained treatment of Mother Earth!

No holidays sir, for Rathyatra, in this part of the country!! :((((

HR said...

Madam,
there are some festive occasions which are celebrated locally, like Telegu New year celebrated in Andhra or Baishakhi celebrated in Punjab. Yes, if you consider festivities celebrated at national level then the villainous threesome are nothing less than a very dull period...

SGD said...

@HR-SHetai to tragedy....national level holidays are all that matter to me for obvious reasons!!!

Deeps said...

I couldnt finish reading your post in the morning,thanx to my daughter!That was when she suddenly realised that her love for me was oozing out!
Hence back to read it in full.
SGD,I never realised that these 3months were the most uneventful and non-festive of the months!Now when you point out,I too feel,its so true.
But I guess,people who have school going children,would look forward to these three months when the vacations will be on and they would plan their holiday!

nsiyer said...

May to July - the children have holidays and we wotk tirelessly. I envy my children because they sleep when I go to office.

SGD said...

@Deeps: The kids need to express their loves multiplies manifold the moment they see their moms busy or engaged in talking on the phone!! Same here too... ;)
From school point of view, yes these months were probably much cherished as summer holidays were during may-june!
But now it's a different story altogether! My daughter starts proper school this June ....let's see how to keep her engaged during the long summer months!

@NSIYER-Right you are sir!! :((

Amal Bose said...

i also have the habit of checking out holidays in the calendar. and the saddest part is when the public holidays end up in saturdays or sundays :-(

Reflections said...

LOL.....but isn't May 1st a holiday?????

U knw in UAE even May 1st is a working day & here I thk the whole year we get just around 6-8 TOTAL holidays. But yes if a sheikh or somebody important kicks the bucket, then we get arnd 4 days at 1 stretch off. But tht will be once in 5-6 yrs;-S

In tht way, just count ur blessing...India gets the most holidays in the WHOLE WORLD;-D.

sidhubaba said...

After an age I guess there are no holidays. Either you go to work, or stay to work....

I define holiday by the time I have to be up in the morning. If I get a few extra minutes or a whole hour of shut-eye, then that day is a real holiday...

Sumandebray said...

Indeed a very interesting way of categorizing the months.
Holidays used to be fun but now we hardly get them. But we have learnt to live weekend to weekend. As soon as the first day of week is over we feel happy that after 4 more days there is going to be a long weekend (48 hours). Ssshh! I am not complaining. With the global downturn one has to be lucky if he is still working.
I wonder how you missed the Mayday holiday. I thought it was a dayoff for the public sector through out India.

SGD said...

@AB-I have 6 days week...hence I'm quite thrilled to have a holiday on Saturdays!! ;)
But holidays on Sunday....I feel cheated!!
Thanks for stopping by....

@Reflection - Do you really want to hear my tragic tale??? I'm working even on MAY DAY....And no, neither is there any hope of a sheikh or two kicking the bucket and gifting us a few days of bliss! :(((

@Sidhubaba - True...very true... :(
And to imagine, as kids we used to yearn to be grown ups!!


@Sumantdebroy-Oh I didnt miss MAY DAY...left it out intentionally as we're deprived of this holiday too... :(
And people say, PSU are flooded with holidays.... grrrr grrr!!
But you're right...in these days of global recession, we should count our blessing that we have jobs to go to...

naperville mom said...

Haha...this was really interesting...I loved the lyrical feel, and the image of three months without a holiday did sound gruesome... and reminds me of the time I was in a similar mode half- a- century ago:) I'm also reminded of Kerala, how each time I land at my parents' place, there's a bandh so the visit to my in- laws' gets postponed indefinitely!

SGD said...

@NM- Oh yes...the bandhs in the RED states of Bengal & Kerala!! And all protests & bandhs will be conveniently held on Saturdays & Mondays!!
And what was that...half a century?? ha ha ha!!!

Little Girl Lost said...

sgd- so you are a summer hater just like me :)
april is good... we have poila boishakh... but may june and july are the dry months, u said it.
but yay! one day off for elections in may :)

SGD said...

@LGL-we've already had our election 'holiday'...and hence now there's nothing to look fwd to...sob sob sob!! :(

Rajesh said...

I love the months of October, November and December. With so many holidays one can plan long vacation.

Hip Grandma said...

don't fret SGD. The non holiday time of the year is too hot and/or humid and think of the poor soul sweating it out in the kitchen.I have no cause to crib.working in a college means that I get lots of holidays.The first think I check when the holiday list comes is how many days we get for summer and puja vacations and if a trip could be planned then.My eyes gleam when I see the list and yet 'yeh dil maange more' (:-))

Vivek Patwardhan said...

Very interesting post SGD.

Mark Twain said,' October - that is the bad month of the year, others are november, Decmber, january, February......September!'
You reminded me of that quote.

But I feel that it is importnat to be in office during these three months. You are in airconditioned place. At hme you feel as if you are in a furnace!

Interesting, keep writing, we enjoy it,

Vivek

SGD said...

@Rajesh-Right you are!! Best months of the year!

@Hip Grandma-I have to sweat it out in the kitchen too!!! :((
Oh yes....can we ever satiate the "Dil" when it comes to holiday!! ;)
Btw, I just love your name Hip Grandma!!!

@VP-That;s a consolation, isnt it!! And the powercuts at home....just going crazy!!
So office isnt so bad after all in the sweltering heat!!!! But....still....

SSQuo said...

Not hubby yet! :)

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