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All My Life I’ve Received Gujiyas For Holi From My Neighbours… It All Changed In 2021

Thanks to COVID now we stop and think before popping over even to a close friend’s house. We stop and think before sending over food.

2021 was a year that many of us will never forget for many different reasons. Our expectations were that this was the year things would go back to normal but the year hit back with a vengeance we were not prepared for. There were many losses and sorrows will remain forever but the great thing about life is that it moves on.

They say that time heals all wounds and maybe that is true even if it doesn’t heal them it makes it easier to live with them. And as we accept the big things and move on it’s the small things that begin to stand out.

A festival, for me, of homemade gujiyas from neighbours

For me it is the gujiyas.

I come from the small town of Dehradun. I know it’s a big city and a state capital now, but for those of us who grew up there it will always be a small town and there are parts of the city which are frozen in time. It’s the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone, where the boundary wall between houses is just high enough for you to linger over as you talk with your neighbour, and makes it easy to quickly pass over a covered plate full of delicacies on every festival.

Growing up, Holi meant getting gujiyas from the neighbours, Diwali meant plates full of batashas, and Eid was when we got to pass over dishes with sewaiyan. I honestly did not know that gujiyas were sold in the market; because for me it was always a homemade delicacy. And then I went off to hostel, and festivals meant turning up at our local friends’ houses to gorge on these delicacies.

When I shifted to Delhi after my marriage I didn’t think this trend would continue but we were lucky. Every year someone or the other would definitely send over a plate of gujiyas, but 2021 was the end of all this.

The pandemic meant things were no longer exchanged

I still have the best friends and if I asked I’m sure someone would have sent over gujiyas, but I didn’t think to ask because the cases were rising at an alarming rate. It was risky to go to someone’s house and so for the first time in my life as a forty year old, I bought a packet of gujiyas.

They were from one of the best sweet makers in India, but I think gujiyas are one of those sweets which only taste good when someone gives it to you.

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For me this signifies an end of an era; this small thing signifies how much things have changed. Thanks to COVID now we stop and think before popping over even to a close friend’s house. We stop and think before sending over food. Things have changed and they will never go back to being the same and that is why this year too I will buy gujiyas. They might not be as sweet as the ones I have grown up on, but what is Holi without gujiyas?

COVID has taken away so much, that I refuse to let it take away this small pleasure still left to us.

Image source: Instants from Getty Image Signature Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Asfiya Rahman

Asfiya Rahman, a management graduate, is a teacher by occupation and a writer by inclination. She has published many short stories in different publications and is the author of the sports drama trilogy Wild, Wild read more...

11 Posts | 14,632 Views

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