A month of renewal, rejuvenation and rest - August comes drenched in the torrents of the Indian monsoon. Straddling the Indian months of Shravan and Bhadrapada , this month has its fair share of festivals.
The rumbling thunder in the grey skies, remind the country of the legend of the great churning of the ocean by the gods and their not so pleasant cousins-the asuras to get the nectar of immortality. The churning brought forth many glorious gifts but threatened all creation by whipping out cosmic poison. Lord Shiva, in his eternal compassion and innocence is said to have drank the poison and saved all life. In thanksgiving, the month of Shravan was dedicated to Shiva for his unparalleled act of kindness.
While the skies remember this cosmic feat, the earth rejoices in Janmashtami festivities, that mark the birth of the beloved Lord Krishna. Countless peacock crested Krishna idols are lovingly tended to and worshipped with great devotion all over the country. To top it all, the Parsis welcome their new year with Pateti. Far from the exuberant festivals, Jain and Buddhist monks resign to their monsoon retreat. This period of quiet reflection sees the Jains celebrate Paryushana - a festival that lets the common populace benefit from the wisdom of the resting monks and engage in rituals that cleanse body and mind.
However diverse the moods of the different religious festivals, the nation unites with great patriotic enthusiasm to celebrate its Independence Day on the fifteenth of August. Finally India collectively takes a dip in sibling revelry with Rakshabandhan thereby proclaiming that the only bonds that can bind our nation are the bonds of love.