Festivities.

Well, the title says a lot about what I want to express in today’s post and that is – festivals. It is Diwali, the festival of lights today, a day to celebrate the victory of good over evil or to be precise, a victory through perseverance despite continuous failures. That is the historical/mythological/religious part of it.

Diwali is basically about fun, frolic, lights, colours, and FEASTs. Not to mention the extravagant and excessive use of crackers which makes me wonder whether people took the spiritual message “let the light guide you to your victory” way too literally. It is supposed to be the light of truth. I hope we do not forget that.

Anyway here are some light shots from tonight. Our way of expressing the joy of Diwali.

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And “swasth” in Swastika literally means “well-being”. Pic Credits to my friend Tonya for sharing her beautiful piece.

 

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Only here…

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Cool Isn’t it?

Only here and no where else in the world can you find the huge difference in not only dialects but entire language. The cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity is something that is celebrated through out the country almost on a daily basis.

If you think that you know enough of this land by knowing what Holi and Diwali means let me tell you are not even close to the reality. Those two are just two of the many more festivals that we have here. And the best part is getting to have lots of national holidays.

One can find people living in pristine locations, holding tightly on to traditions while fast paced cities with busy people having no time for rituals and festivities on a frequent basis. So those villages become cultural hubs.

We too have those super traditional, sometimes little rigid, people living in far away places who do not miss a single festival and even to my surprise have their own festivals. Like extra ones just for them. Our whole culture is about feasting and fasting but regularly because extremism never works for the good so why put a date on it, do it weekly or even for months on end.

Most of these festivals have their roots in changing seasons, moving planets, changing society, familial events oh and the ever so prevalent religion. And we do not shy away from celebrating each other’s festivals. Honestly that is when I have seen humanity at its best and the real vision of, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – a Sanskrit phrase meaning “the world is one family”, is in front of my eyes.

Imagine someone being brought up surrounded by love and with the concept of being different and being equal. The simplicity that people share at this point is on another level because it is not about mine or yours and it is all about ours.

Very obviously I do celebrate Holi, Diwali and all the related ones and it might sound strange to you but I have the same amount of enthusiasm for Eid and Christmas. And I do not celebrate in the name of having fun but I like to know the very reason behind celebration because that is how you can really savour it or you end up feeling like an uninvited plus one to some friend of friend’s party.

When I was in college I would take sweets and share with my Muslim friend and with the same heart we waited for her to bring us some of the most amazing sweet dishes they would make on Mithi Eid (lit. translation Sweet Eid). There are more of such stories like legit celebrating Christmas in college. Perplexed?

I and my friends, we all wore some form of red and white on X’mas eve, bunked our classes, found a quiet place, sat, chatted and sang carols. One of the friend was made the Santa, she was supposed to get the gifts. I was the interchange of arranging the Dundee and my most favourite plum cake. While another of us made amazing cards with personal messages, which was a surprise and none of us is even Christian.

Man we had so much fun! Now I miss my college friends and School was fun as well. So only here and any place where a human heart beats humanity comes naturally even when EVERYONE is different.

Sweet eating ghost.

Such an intriguing word it is, ghost! And the associated feelings have such a variety. Some are so interested in them and others scared as hell. Some like me, find themselves in the middle.

Okay, how do I create feelings for something that I have never experienced before? Although we do have a habit of creating strong feelings by our thoughts and that is exactly how we can go through emotional stress even before any of our fears manifest into reality.

So is ghost also just a fear? Something imaginary? But then what about ghost sightings and the extensive talk about possessions by other ghosts/demons etc. Did some one go a step too far while trying to scare kids? Is it just a joke being taken to seriously? Or as simple as it is – Inexplicable and hence everyone hence the endless stories.

We also have a habit of believing in what is experiential, and for what we find scary we are ready to believe just about anything, who would go through the experience personally? So I am fine with whatever you tell me or what ever I have been hearing from the elders and others.

Enough of questions, lets come to the interesting part; the representations of these ghosts. Lots of movies show them as a grey-scale version of the deceased person, some show them in the exact state that they died in like, bleeding or without an arm or a leg, they can apparate or even fly as an additional ability to passing through solid objects, some suggest they are ugly just because they are ghost they can not be beautiful.

Even funnier is the Bollywood representation – a grey coloured woman with grey hair, actually white long hair, cald in white sari carrying a candle and as shown in a movie singing the famous song “gum naam hai koi badnaam hai koi” (lit. translation “some one is nameless and some one is infamous”, I have no idea in what context she sings this, perhaps it is about her being name less because she is obviously DEAD haha). Come to think of it, there are no specific male ghost representations.

Anyway random prompt, even much random response!

It is Rakhi tomorrow wishes of the festivities to my readers. Rakhi is a festival that comes with its own story and traditions. Suffice to say it is neither valentines day nor siblings day but a day for brothers and sisters. The one who ties the rakhi (traditionally sister) wishes for good health of the other person (normally brother) and they basically take a vow to take care of there sister in every circumstance. So yeah it is a sweet tradition both in feelings and taste! Nothing goes with out sweets here, might as well have a sweet eating ghost!!

It is not odd.

An Odd Trio: Today, you can write about whatever you want.


I will take half of the prompt, please. Serve it on a nice platter but make sure it has no spelling mistakes.

So Diwali… Yeah, enjoy the pictures. They begin from the entrance and finish at the backside of the building. Not at all odd just lots of lights!!

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  The staircase 🙂

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I love how the lights have caused an illusion in the stairs. They look uneven.

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From stairs to the door. Yes it is a door just too dressed up 😛

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Lights everywhere, almost a fire hazard LOL.

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More earthen lamps at the ready.

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Fighting the wind.

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Fancy neighbours.

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When the nights are brighter than the day. 🙂

An amazing end to an amazing day. Now lets wait for the next year to come because it is so much fun.

Diwali treats.

No Apologies: What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?


Festival of the lights is around the corner, actually it is less than 48 hours away. And the festivities are in full force. Talk about guilty pleasures! Ha! No one gets any form of guilt especially this time of the year. The weather finally turns a little colder and makes the shopping, gatherings and getting out pretty convenient. Oh and I missed the fact that eating too becomes very easy.

It does span almost a month – the festivities, the rituals, I mean the shopping with special sales all around is even more alluring. Gifts and money flow like champagne – although we do not celebrate with alcohol. It is more of sweets with more sweets, on top of it, that we like to celebrate with – feasting to be precise.

To the western world it could be like X’mas mixed with new year and perhaps a bit of Halloween because to be honest we do like to over dress, no one needs an occasion for that really. If you have seen a Bollywood movie then you definitely know what I am talking about.

Getting back to guilty pleasure… Yes I am a self proclaimed foodie and Diwali is just another excuse and a perfect time to celebrate with family, friends and loads of sweets. Calories? What are those? If we cared about calories there won’t be any food during the feast, and I have gotten so used to it that to answer this prompt I chose Diwali treats.

There is one thing that I got really guilty about when I was young and have never done it again, bursting crackers. I mean for kids it makes sense, it is fun for them. Now as a grown up I am not as interested, but I have seen so many other adults enjoying them. I am not against them but one could definitely control the number of crackers.

For one they cause too much pollution, air and noise both. Two, people do not just do it for fun they do it to show off. And that makes people to have this silent competition of who can burst more crackers, indirectly meaning who can cause more pollution – it is sad.

It gets really bad especially in crowded cities where the smoke enters the apartments and news-reports suggest that every year there is an increase of asthma attack cases. Fun for one, punishment for others! Even I see the paper, other garbage, and the scared stray dogs on road the next day. Well, only if we knew how and when to stop. But that won’t be a guilty pleasure now, would it be?