It Is Your Light That Lights up Your Home
It’s always a pleasure to visit Lakshmi auntie’s house during Navratri. The beautiful colored rangoli literally beckons you, the string of mango leaves tied above the threshold, the devotional music you can hear while entering the house, aunty draped in a beautiful saree welcoming with a warm smile, the lovely display of Golu (Doll arrangement) with artistic decorations to go with it, aunty’s explanation of the significance of each doll, the delicious Prasad, receiving the tamboolam(consists of betel leaves, betel nuts, coconut, fruit, turmeric and a gift) and finally not to forget the melodious bhajans sung by aunty encouraging me to join in as well. Overall it is a completely enriching experience.
This year I was in for a total surprise. As I neared her house the first thing that came to my notice was a hastily drawn Rangoli followed by the missing mango leaves and of course the silence which was unusual. When uncle opened the door for me before I could ask any questions he explained that aunty had gone to her native place to visit her ailing mother and that is why the Golu could not be kept. As I was about to leave uncle stopped me and offered me Prasad a kheer which he sheepishly acknowledged did not turn out as expected and even gave me a tamboolam as per aunty’s instructions as during festival times these are mandatory customs. I thanked him and while returning home it struck me that
A Woman Plays A Major Role In Making A Festival Come Alive And It’s Her Spirit That Brings About The Festive Spirit In The Household.
With Diwali round the corner newspapers are galore with write ups on celebrating with family, involving family members in activities related to the festival, making it simple and pleasurable, easy to make sweets, do it yourself gift hampers and bringing a sense of togetherness. Once again all this is possible only if the women in the household take the initiative.
Agreed festival time is a lot of hard work for us women. Right from cleaning, to decorating, to preparation of delicacies; we end up slogging and sometimes don’t even get to completely relax and enjoy with family. Well we need to be smart and outsource mundane tasks like cleaning and decorating and focus more on simple yet beautiful celebrations and small customs associated with the festival as once again.
If We Women Do Not Familiarize Our Family with Traditions It Can Never Be Carried Forward To the Next Generation.
Finally no matter how much you ladies plan in advance delegate or try to stick to time schedule on festival day you are the first to rise, up on your feet the whole day, last to hit the pillow and all this is worth it as IT IS YOUR LIGHT THAT LIGHTS UP YOUR HOME.
Wishing you a very happy Diwali
Athena Mira and Team Athenastake