Lessons from Navratri in Gujarat: You May Not Get Laid, But You’ll Feel the Love

Culture

Lessons from Navratri in Gujarat: You May Not Get Laid, But You’ll Feel the Love

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I’

m a boy who grew up in south Bombay, the part of the city that is home to snooty Mumbaikars who dub a trip to anywhere beyond Bandra as a quick weekend getaway. So when I announced to my friends I was moving to Baroda, they protested. My carefully prepared arguments about urban migration to Tier 2 cities fell on deaf ears and they threw the ultimate trump card at me, “Dude it’s a dry state!” I wanted to correct them that Baroda is a city not a state, but I chose not to digress and continued talking about reasonable property prices and better quality of life. That too did not seem to impress them, until one of them added, “Dude, there’s always Navratri. You are so going to get laid.”

“No booze, lots of Navratri sex” is Baroda summarised for the outsider. But alcohol was never my high and the chances of the latter happening were as little as Indian men understanding consent. Because I have no experience with Navratri other than aesthetically choreographed dance numbers in Sanjay Leela Bhansali films. I also have no experience with dancing – in fact I’m blessed with two size 12 left feet.

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