We didn’t plan it this way, but we are lucky enough to be here at the ashram during Navaratri. It is a nine-night festival of the goddess Durga, celebrating her in all her forms, and signs of celebration are everywhere. The ashram grounds are decorated with banana leaves and flowers, and so are homes and shops. Pale green pumpkins are split, their flesh dyed red, and these are placed at the entrances to gates, doors and shops. Fresh kolams appear every morning in front of every entrance – homes, shops, and the ashram itself.