Oct 25, 2011

"Tis that time of the year again !

For us Diwali morning meant getting up early and giving the already spic and span house another thorough cleaning. By afternoon the floor and furniture would be gleaming, the cushions would be plumped up and new silk cushion covers would be out. I would rush to the market to buy flowers and mango leaves for decorating the temple and also come back with bouquets of whatever flowers I could find. I would arrange the bouquets all over the house, and place scented candles in bowls of water with floating flower petals in them. The kitchen meanwhile would be redolent with smells of wonderful things cooking. By evening the running around wuld start taking its toll and we would be exhausted and irritable from the arranging and cleaning and from attending to the various neighbors, friends and relatives who would drop in to wish us a Happy Diwali.

Around sunset would come the time for the Diwali Pooja. My father who would be sitting watching us all run around like headless chickens would quietly ask us what we had done about the Pooja. Diwali Pooja is something my dad takes extremely seriously and considers infinitely more important than all the decoration and lighting that we do. It has always been my job to make sure that the Temple is beautifully and artistically (something difficult for me to accomplish) decorated. Everything has to be neat and tidy. All paraphernalia for worship – flowers, Chandan, prayer books, vermillion etc had to be arranged neatly and meticulously. And god help me even if one thing is not where it is supposed to be!

My dad would sit in the front and mom besides him. We would all squeeze in the back and the Pooja would begin. In my childhood I would sit squirming and fidgeting through the long Pooja waiting for the time the Prasad and money would be distributed and I could start lighting the Diyas and putting them outside - That had always been my favorite job.

But then my mother would arrange Diyas in a platter before the image of Goddess Laksmi and light them. The Deeyas, the image of the goddess and the light smell of incense and flowers plus the baritone voice of my father intoning the mantras would start having a soothing effect on me. In the end we would all close our eyes and ask the Lord for his blessings. In that moment of stillness, I would forget my friends bursting crackers outside, I would forget all about eating sweets, I would forget my tiredness. I would just sit still and feel the peace and serenity seep slowly through me. This for me remains the most prominent memory of Diwali…

So This Diwali I wish you a life time of serenity and contentment and the wisdom to enjoy the simple joys in Life.

May his light always shine on you and your families.
All my Love


  1. Loved the post! Lighting diyas was my fav job too, and ofcos fighting for them with the sister :P Mom had to divide them among us. Aaah memories :)

    Thanks for the wishes Ruch and wish u the same too :)



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