At this juncture of life away home, I am missing my childhood a bit too much. Yes, the festival of lights has finally arrived and I am not home. Okay, never mind, let it be fun this time over here in the north-east. This time the Diwali falls on 10th or 11th November, depending on where you stay in India. Just like mine, Diwali might be one of your most favorite festivals and why would it not be? After all it’s the festival of lights, festival of sweets, probably the brightest night of the year (even without the moon). Let me have the privilege of writing some words on this awesome Diwali that we are about to experience.
We all have great fun on the occasion of Diwali every year. But, what exactly is Diwali? Diwali, derived from the Sanskrit fusion word Dīpāvali, is a celebration of millions of lights that dates back to ancient India. It is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. Spiritually, this festival signifies the victory of good over evil. Preparations and rituals typically extend over a 5-day period. This festival coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. Before the night of Diwali, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. Diyas, lamps and candles are lit inside and outside of homes.
On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira, and Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas. Diwali is an official holiday in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, and the Australian external territory of Christmas Island. The name of the festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among cultures, based on the regions of India. In many parts of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras (in Northern & Western part of India), followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Deepavali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife–husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej (bhai-dooj) dedicated to sister–brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra (which is today, 9th November).
When I was a kid, quite like my friends, I was completely crazy about crackers. Mathapi, Chakra, Kumpi, Bijli bomb, Laxmi bomb (Odia names of crackers and not real bombs though :p) being some of my favorites. But, my craze was of a notch higher may be. My parents had been habituated of taking undue advantage of my following for crackers; they used to make me solve hundreds (or even thousands may be) of maths for just some crackers during this period of 10-15 days for several years. This seems to be a credible reason of my good mathematical aptitude. Diwali has been my all time favorite festival, with 2nd best being Holi. However, more than 2 decades have passed from being a really small kid to becoming quite big of a man, yeah big in size, maturity, and abilities and not being mad enough to solve maths anymore to get some crackers.
Though, I am the same Bhargav, my take on Diwali has evolved through these years. I have slightly changed my views and activities. I still do hell a lot of celebrations. But, it’s a bit different. I now have realized crackers being party spoilers, polluting our wonderful earth, leading to nature unfriendly imbalances. So, I have stopped burning those crackers by about 90-95%. Although whatever I still do is a token of respect to my culture. I rather use more candles and diyas for lighting up my home. I burn ego, I burn illness, I burn anger, I burn everything that spoils me. I eat and share sweets. I wish my greetings to people. I express my regards and love. This is my Diwali.
I hope you had a good read. Happy Diwali!
Tata.. bye.. bye..!
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