Alright guys, ‘Diwali’ is around the corner. It’s on October 23rd and the excitement has begun here in New Delhi and I believe should be pan -India too. The festival of lights is perhaps one of the most popular amongst loads of festivals celebrated here. The significance, origins etc of ‘Diwali’ can be read here:http://hinduism.about.com/od/diwalifestivaloflights/a/diwali.htm
‘Diwali’ , however leaves me stone cold.Ostensibly the festival of ‘light’, I feel we tend to celebrate darkness actually. I am of course speaking of two causes which are very, very close to my heart. That is children and animals.
One of the horrifying elements of ‘Diwali’ is that it encourages and flourishes on child labour. The crackers , that people buy bushels of, are made by children in Sivakasi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Despite strict vigilance and Supreme Court interdiction, nothing has changed much. For a miserable sum of Rs 100/-, children all below 14 years, risk their lives working in disturbing conditions.Don’t we realize that we are actually dimming the lights of/in these children?
Then come my beloved animals. Noise and crackers terrify them .Especially, the poor street dogs, who are subject to heartrending atrocities like crackers being tied to their tails and being set on fire. The shelters in the city have started getting overcrowded with the burn injuries cases. Its a terrible sight and as always I fail to understand how human beings can be so depraved.
So, what will I do on ‘Diwali’?:
1.Spring clean my home, which I love and is my sanctuary actually.Its a place where I invite very few people. Only those that pass the weirdness of my personal caste system, which is based on your intelligence and your depth of being.
2. Light earthern ‘diyas’. I hate the artificial Chinese lights.
3. Cook lunch for my insanely beautiful friends for I think I don’t give them enough of my time.Fusion menu. Pasta,Pilaf and Vegetable Korma.
4. Embark upon a ‘Zepathon’ from 10 am. Yeah, blast all the 9 Led Zeppelin studio albums. Haven’t done that in quite some time.
5. Fill every nook and corner of my house with flowers.
6.In the evening, take sweets for all the animal shelter staff.And biscuits for the animals.
7.Wear a new ‘shalwar kameez’ in mocha and beige trimmed with gold lace and go for dinner at a friend’s place.Oh yes, I shall tuck a rose behind my ear too.
8. Pray to the Goddess Kali.For ‘Diwali’ is also celebrated as ‘Kali Puja’. She is the Goddess who takes us from darkness unto light.
9.Let go of those memories which were never meant to be mine.
10.Skype the whole night with my Shams.And quote Bob Marley to him “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
A prayer for all of you reading this 🙂
asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
Lead me from the untruth to the truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.
(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28)
And naturally a song 🙂 http://youtu.be/CHekNnySAfM