Diwali the Festival of Lights by Deepa (Laji) Bhagnari

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Since childhood I have heard of innumerable stories of the different festivals celebrated in our country ..our beautiful India.  I always used to wonder how one can have so many festivals…but then as I grew up I realised that festivals are just a means of unifying people and creating an atmosphere of goodwill and cheer amongst people. So in a way they stand for unification…which is really essential to the well being of our country.

We celebrate innumerable festivals…but none I think can compare to the Diwali Festival. It has been said that Diwali is celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil… victory of light over darkness and  knowledge over ignorance.  Moreover according to legends it is said that this day marked the return of Ram..Sita..Laxman and Hanumanji back to Ayodhya after defeating Ravan the demon king.  So the people of Ayodhya were so overjoyed to welcome their beloved Rama that they decorated the full city with lights…each and every house was lit up to show their joy at his return. ..and from that day this special day was called Diwali….and it became a norm to light up every home on this particular day every year. 

It is also said that it was on this Diwali day that Goddess Laxmi got married to Lord Vishnu..and Goddess Laxmi symbolises wealth and prosperity…so on Diwali day people pray to Laxmi to bring in wealth and prosperity into their homes…and all Hindus open new account books on this auspicious day. So we can see why Diwali has so much significance in our lives.

Diwali has been named as the Festival Of Lights…people of all religions…all classes..rich or poor all participate in this festival with gusto..and according to their means…the poor may just light some Mitti  ka diyas in their houses and eat a good meal ..make some new clothes and as a bonus eat some Mithai..but nonetheless they are happy to be a part of the festival . Others decorate their houses with shimmering coloured lights…beautiful Rangolis ..diyas…lanterns.. .Fanoos in their balconies..and it all looks like a fairyland. 

It also becomes a time for shopping.. people buy new clothes..and ornaments… the bazaars are packed with customers all buying diyas ..clothes..silverware and gold and diamond ornaments.. Dhanteras is the day when people religiously go to the market to buy either gold..silver or even a small steel utensil as it is considered to be auspicious. But the atmosphere in these three four days of Diwali is electrifying and incomparable.. there is cheer and bonhomie everywhere.

It is also a time for bonding ..people go to each other’s houses exchange gifts…..meet and socialize.  There are huge parties hosted by the rich and..people all are dressed in their shimmering best. Ladies outdo each other by wearing their latest acquired gold and diamond jewellery ..indeed a beautiful sight to behold. 

This festival is not restricted to India..all the Hindus living all across the Globe celebrate it with the same verve and enthusiasm…Here in Dubai all the streets and houses are decorated with twinkling lights…the bazaars are packed with eager ..enthusiastic shoppers…it is a beautiful sight to behold. Specially in these tough times we need this light to remove the darkness from our hearts and minds. I know India is still reeling from the virus impact but still the enthusiasm has not diminished and though low key Diwali is still being celebrated. 

Our very own Bhagnari Community which is the most united community I would proudly say is hosting Diwali celebrations on Zoom under the guidance of the very capable Ramesh Poplay and his team..I am sure it will be a huge success and we will all enjoy it…so please all participate wherever you are as this is Bhagnaris bonding.

So wishing all a very happy Diwali…May the darkness end and we get the vaccine as soon as possible so that we can travel and meet our loved ones.  May our patience  be victorious over Corona  just like  good over evil.

(The picture is from famous Kandil Gali of Mahim – is there light at the end of the tunnel?)

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