Since I didn’t really know that I was going to be celebrating Diwali this year, I totally didn’t plan for it, and so there was a brief panicked period of about six hours when I realized that I had (a) nothing new at all to wear and (b) no idea how to celebrate Diwali. This led to me celebrating in a haphazard fashion two days beforehand, and then realizing that no image of the Goddess Lakshmi exists in my house (I have since remedied this, in time for the actual holiday). Aamba has been a kind (if long-distance) point of support, and so I feel a little less lost.
In honor of doing things (sort of) right, I have both organized an outing to a local temple to attend the Chopda Puja and the Diwali fireworks (possibly in sarees if it is not stupid-cold) and also created a rangoli outside the side door, using a leftover bag of rice flour and some turmeric:
(Sorry about the photo quality – way-lame iPhone photo is better than no photo at all, as far as I’m concerned.)
And then the CG brought me a lovely diya, which I lit two days ago out of sheer excitement (and have since refilled with ghee and cotton wicks):
So pretty. I bought some tea lights and have lined them up in rows of 20 (as one is apparently supposed to do in anticipation of Sri Ram’s return from exile) and have saved some teeny chocolate cupcakes to share with the husband.
This has been the most delightful discovery. I’m not a big fan of regular old New Year, and lately the Western trend of starting Christmas sales in October has started to grate on me, so this is completely awesome. The preparation in advance has a purpose! It means something real, not just broken resolutions and a champagne hangover! (Apologies to those of you who really do enjoy advance Christmas sales and New Year’s celebrations; I am super-glad somebody enjoys the things I seem to have trouble with, because those things should be enjoyed by somebody somewhere, and I mean no offense).
Tonight I am going to savor a long, cleansing bath in preparation for tomorrow.
Anyway, Happy Diwali to everybody!
(And if anybody wonders where this is all coming from, it’s been coming down the pipeline for a while, but I had a conversation with my father. Previously a stalwart and immovable influence on my religious life, he has opened up to new ways of thinking and has proven himself to be very accepting, and so I am feeling that with the new year comes time to stop being so shy about the whole thing, and be cool with who I am. I may even join a study group!)