How do you know Dashain is here? I remember once being clueless of the month of Dashain as I was drowning in work. But as Dashain got closer the atmosphere suddenly shifts. You hear the Mangal Dhun playing more often, the monsoon slowly dissipates, and the clear skies are filled with kites. Kids get excited for the Dashain vacation and you hear them yell once in a while, “Dashian Aunai Lagyo.” (Dashain is coming soon.) 

It is the time for families to come together, the time when you meet your long-lost friends and siblings. We see the little ones grow a few inches taller, and suddenly realize that we are getting older as well. The trouble and worries of the mundane world disappear in a delightful spread of home cooked food, blessings of our elders, and the love and laughs shared with family. And the cherry on top is definitely hearing your close family state their concern on, well you know what I mean, right? (Bihe garne kaile?) (When are you getting married?)

For us born and raised in Kathmandu Valley, the festival has taken a new leaf. We talk about how the streets will have less traffic. You hear the young bloods say, “Aba bike chalauna ramilo huncha.” (Now it is going to be fun to ride bike.) As the young gear up for a great riding experience, the old are hit with nostalgia of the then much less populated valley.  Families of the few with children abroad wait for nightfall, and anxiously question themselves, “Kaile phone garcha?” (When is the call going to come?) And at the sound of the first ring on their samrtphone, they rush to pick up the call to see the faces of their children. They take a moment and with eyes filled with tears and say, “Yo pali ni ghar ayena hai.”(This year too you are not coming home.) With mixed emotions, they celebrate Dashain digitally.

As the day of the Tika approaches, kids get ready to have a shopping spree with their dakshina and the streets are lined with individuals with a fresh pair of cloths and their foreheads filled to the tiniest edge with tika. As the festivities draw to a close, we can’t help but wish the festivities would never end. The streets slowly start getting more traffic and the mundane street life knocking on our door. Just as Dashain came, you hear people say, “Dashain Aba Pheri Kaile Aucha.” (When is Dashain coming again?) 

Dashain is more than just a simple holiday, it’s the time to get together and make merry. This Dashain choose to stay a bit longer with your loved ones. Put down your phone, and pick up that food plate and fill it to the brim.  Indulge in the loving spread and share your stories, woes and joy. You might just find the answers that you were looking for. Capture those memories for the days to come, as you might not see your family that often. But when you do -- as in the coming Dashain -- make sure to cherish each and every moment.