Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deepavali - The Festival of Lights

Feeling very self important a little girl walked hurriedly towards the kitchen. Bending under the shelf she spied the tell tale trail of mustard oil and followed it into the pantry. The bottle of mustard oil in hand, with a skip in her step she dragged out the bag of diyas from the store room. She knew the big roll of cotton was in the medicine cabinet. And finally what she needed was a pack of matches. Tearing a piece of cotton from the roll, she carefully and meticulously stretched it until it was long and thin. She chose a diya from the bag. Carefully she poured some mustard oil and dipped the cotton wick in it. Lips pursed and holding the match far away from her body she lit the diya. Slowly the flame came alive, flickered and then steadied. The glow from the flame of the first diya of the season warmed her heart. As she went about placing diyas all along the perimeter wall of her home, a sense of pride and satisfaction glowed in her eyes. If you looked carefully you could see the diya reflected in her eyes. If you looked harder you could see the same fire burning inside.

Today's fancy ready made diyas with candlewax don't appeal. Painted diyas don't appeal. Tea light candles seem too fancy for something so pure and simple. Fairy lights are a modern invention. It's the traditional mitti diyas that I miss. I miss the ritual of preparing the baatis (wicks), the satisfaction of pouring the oil into the diyas and the gentle sense of everything being right with the world when the diya comes to life.

For me it's Deepavali, not Diwali. It's the hand made diyas not the store bought ones. The excitement of sharing sweets with family, friends and neighbours. Dressing up, wearing pretty bangles and little jhumkas (earrings). As I sit far away, my Deepavali remains incomplete without my diyas. Tea light candles fill in.

Here is this year's diya.

And Squiggles in her Diwali outfit courtesy her Appammai.

Here's wishing all of you a wonderful and happy Deepavali!

P.S. Squiggles has misunderstood the importance of Deepavali. Instead of appreciating it as the Festival of Lights she thinks it's the Festival of 'Drink-as-much-milk-as-you-can'. So we have been spending some quality time together!!!


Just Like That said...

A very happy Diwali to you folks! *hugs*
Psst! Does Squiggles grow cuter by the day?

choxbox said...

Happy Deepavali SqM!

DotMom said...

Squiggles looks like delectable Diwali laddoo :)

I share your diya sentiments. Hugs. why is there so much nostalgia in the air today (go to fuzzy's)

Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones.

Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

That is a nice post Squiggle's mom. So with you on "Deepavali".


Fuzzylogic said...

I think Diwali brings out the senti side in all of us *Sniff sniff*
By the way squiggles looks so totally
Happy Deepavali Squiggles mom!

Suki said...

For me it used to be the Kali Puja.. preparing the diyas, stringing the "bel" leaves together for a garland, sorting flowers, grass and tulsi leaves, making chandan paste... nostalgia nostalgia.
And the day before Kali Puja is the way we have "14-saag"(14 kinds of saag cooked together) in the afternoon, and 14-pradip(14 diyas lit all over the house to ward off evil spirits) at night. :sigh: I don't know what to think. I'm kinda blocking it out now.

And Squiggles looks so adorably curious in that photo! kisses and hugs to her from me! Hope she's healthy and happy :).

Kodi's Mom said...

happy Deepavali!!! and I am surprised, for a long time I used to think only the southies refer to it as Deepavali !! Squiggles' way of celebrating is acceptable too - I'm all for new traditions :)

Poppins said...

A very happy Deepawali to you and the squiggle family !

Rohini said...

Happy Deepavali to y'all

Mona said...

aww. hope you had a brillaint diwali through all the feedings.
squiggles is so cute in her diwali outfit!

Sue said...

I know what you mean about the diyas... I only light matti diyas now. It's a memory I want The Bhablet to have.

Timepass said...

Cute pic of Squiggles.. She seems to be all set for the Thai as well as India trip!! What say?

Orchid said...

I am a li'l late..hope you had a good one. Squiggles looks delectable! and all though I did make do with tea lights, the memories of the past deepavalis with diyas kept coming back, sigh!

Viren said...

Happy Diwali to you and all readers. Really fantastic pictures on Diwali festival and such a good post on diwali festival.Dipavali is the Indian festival that brings a series of festivals with it. One after another we get a chance to celebrate five festivals together. So Once again Happy Diwali to all readers.