Friday, November 1, 2013

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Diwali's definition for me had always been cleaning the house, decorating it with lights, colorful rangolis, preparing sweets and savories at home and bursting crackers. And every year I would eagerly wait for this festival and start planning months before about how will i work towards achieving all the above and when Diwali is over i really feel sad on why it has ended :)

This year is no different and Diwali is now just around the corner. With my usual ways I have been waiting for the festival season since a couple weeks. A midst all this I happened to attend a Diwali party last weekend which was held in a lavish farm house located on MG Road in New Delhi. I love parties help in open grounds, though i get to attend very few and since this was one of my kinds I was excited to attend it. I was pre informed about a performance by one of a leading pop artist during the coarse of the party.

I reached there with my husband and one of his colleague and his wife at around 6' o clock in the evening, people had started to gather and some performances were on. But this was not the pop star but kids performing on the tunes of Illa Arun's "Aa ra ra Aa ra ra aayo re maro dholna". Dressed in pink ghagra's and Blue gota patti chunris, these little girls looked really beautiful. Nice dance steps and wonderful co-ordination kept me mesmerized and I did not move or spoke a word till they finished their performance. That was when my husband told me those girls were from an NGO. A sudden sense of proud feeling rush through my mind and I really started feeling so privileged to be part of this show where i get to applaud these wonderful kids.

Soon the next performance was announced and a group of 10 boys and girls were on the stage now taking positions. These kids did not follow a dress code but wore the best clothes they had and belonged to another NGO that supported their studies. The music started lights were now dim and the song was Shankar Mahadevan's "Mai kabhi batlata nahi andhere se darta hu mai ma". Immediately my mood changed, this song has always touched me emotionally and this time i saw these kids perform, who i thought were orphans and I could not control my emotions at all. The kids were all excited and were performing well. But I could not just keep my eyes on them due to this strong emotional feeling going across my mind. The song ended and when my husband told me they were actually not orphans but underprivileged children who were studying via these NGO's that support them was when I could gather some strength. We managed to talk to a couple kids on the snack counter, and I felt really happy to see them all very excited and happy believing it was their show today. We congratulated them and felt proud for them.

At the same time, an announcement was made for the NGO stalls that were arranged in the backyard amd we decided to visit the NGO stalls for sure to buy some goodies and help the kids in our own little way.
Post dinner we visited the stalls and witnessed all Diwali goodies that the kids had made with their imagination. We really appreciated all the creativity and hard work these kids have put into those goodies and went on to see every variety they had. We finally bought candles, diya's and Ganesha Lakshmi idol from some of the stalls. One of the stalls sold hampers which had 1 hand made Diwali greeting, 1 designer diya and 1 colored diya. We bought that too. That greeting card is the best diwali gift we got this year. Returning home from the event, we went on to decided that from now on, every Diwali we will purchase these goodies from the underprivileged people only and with all the diwali electric lights in our house we will also lit diyas more to support them. This way we might end up making at least a couple more poor families celebrate diwali with cheer.

Thus my definition of Diwali now has 1 more parameter to it and we will try to adhere to this gesture every year.

Happy Diwali !!

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