Of all the Indian festivals, Diwali is my favourite. I think it’s because the bright lights and vibrant colours fill me with positivity and enthusiasm.
What do I like about Diwali the most? Is it the lighting of diyas or drawing rangolis? Or is it the abhyangya snan with ‘moti soap’ and ‘utne’ on Narakchaturdashi day or the Laxmi puja? I don’t know.
Diwali brings back a lot of fond memories of celebrating this festival as a kid with my parents, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. In Goa, there is this tradition of preparing effigies of “Narkasura”, the demon who was supposedly killed by Lord Krishna on Diwali day. These effigies are burnt early morning on Narakchaturdashi day. As kids, we would wake up early in the morning and start drawing Rangoli and lighting diyas. In Goa, there is also the tradition of preparing 4-5 types of fov (Poha). My mum and aunts would wake up early morning and start cooking. After the Diwali Aarti, we would all devour the fov. We would also distribute them among our Catholic neighbours.
Now I am married and Diwali means to me a lot of other things. It means celebrating the festival in my own house, with hubby, in laws and now my daughter. It means shopping for the Diwali lantern and diyas and lighting up my house. It means getting all decked up and having the Laxmi Puja at home.
This year a certain incident had left me depressed. Hubby and I were in no mood to celebrate. But my daughter’s excitement about Diwali fills me with renewed enthusiasm. She is excited about everything, the colourful rangoli and the bright lights. She has even demanded for a dress with “oodni (duppata)” this Diwali. I think it’s the festival that works it magic on everyone, no one is spared.
Time has changed, situations have changed, and circumstances have changed. Although I may not be in the best of spirits this year, I sincerely hope and pray this Diwali brings everyone health and happiness throughout the year.