This post was written on Diwali but it feels appropriate for now too.

I bought this saree last year ironically. I have trouble with festivals because any religious occasion comes tainted by misogyny, casteism & fundamentalism. It was the first Diwali in 4 years I was spending in the city, after having run away from the pollution & allergy triggers. I debuted the saree at an event where people don’t wear sarees – hosting an event at a nightclub. I fretted about who said what to me, how many people there were & what they thought. Feels like another life.

In the last two weeks, I’ve been tentatively pushing back against my anxiety & fears, to get health checks. I’ve learnt some things I’m yet to make my peace with (reading glasses, allergy triggers). But I’m feeling relieved at at least knowing I’m on the right path.

I just finished a videocall with my extended family, getting to know nieces & nephews I’ve never met but whose parents remember details of my childhood in annoying precision (like my favourite colour & my most hated vegetable). The frolicking conversation between the kids across timezones drifted into laughing reminiscences with my cousins & good-natured digs by uncles & aunts that don’t sting any more. And when we finished, I realised I’m breathing okay since there aren’t too many firecrackers this year. What a joy.

I guess we are or can be constantly on a path to healing. A day like today is seemingly about good versus evil. But what if that meant choosing healing over the evils within yourself? Rage. Jealousy. Greed. Control. And letting the good triumph? Healing. Because all of these evils are hurts lying unattended.

Blossoming flowers remind me. Cotton sarees soothe me. Laughing with people who recognise me, nourishes me. And each one makes it easier for me to rise above the hard memories. As much as I fear change, I have to admit the new normal is bringing gifts.

Finding out how we heal, is there anything bigger we can owe ourselves? This means accepting our wounds and the time it takes to heal them. And finally, remembering that, no matter how hurt, we do heal. We always heal.

#IWear: Applique Bengal cotton saree

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