A pause. Four days of stillness injected into the hustle of the everyday. Quiet celebration after weeks of abstinence. Whilst Easter has never really had any impact on me in the past, this year it has taken on a different meaning. I attempted to fast, for the first time ever - three weeks without any alcohol. If it sounds mundane, it probably is because this is of little to no import for many people. But to me, the mere thought of socialising, relaxing after a long day, of an existence without the rich, full-bodied warmth that I associate with a glass of red wine was fearsome. But I started and kept at it - thanks to F, who was doing the entire 40 days - and it was an eye-opener. Turning a conscious gaze on something means to give it a gentle importance and to analyse its status. The patterns that are established and the storylines we come to believe are intrinsic to ourselves. Understanding that acceptance and change are two sides of the same coin. And also re-applying the concept of the conscious gaze on other aspects of my life. So Easter weekend is now going to be a period of examination -of the quarter year that has passed - usually in a blur - to see how far the aspirations set at the turn of the year are holding up and what I’ve actually achieved. What newness I’ve embraced and what I’d like to re-examine and change. Four days is a luxury - and in a country where everything shuts down for these four days - no supermarket, hairdresser, clothing stores - going away to the country and shutting down as well seems like the ultimate luxury. Quiet, peace, delicious food, beautiful panoramas - and time.
Photographs by Vatsala