Happy Deepavali

Happy Deepavali. It is that time of the year to celebrate colour. The colour in our lives. The gripping beauty in the smiles of ordinary people around us. The vivid detail in the mythical even whilst we built current day connections.

The rapture of joy in ordinary lives. The joy that dominates even whilst realising that it is special that gives the ordinary energy to keep moving forward.

There are indulgences of all kinds. Friends find the time to call and talk. Reminiscing the good old times and the strands of hope for the future. The neighbour’s invite for playing cards at their home comes with a promise of a fresh start.

The discounts are on offer. Chasing numbers and opportunity there are advertisements that have out beaten newspapers. It is a festive time you see. If you lived in a Pavlovian world, you will consider talking about salivating dogs. And who doesn’t live in a Pavlovian world? Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike and every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.

“There is a time and place for everything”, I was told a while back. “Shubh Shubh bolo”, she had said. Yes. It is the time of “Shubh Shubh Bolo”. Let’s stick to that.

So. With Anna Karenina in mind, let us just leave it that every family, happy or unhappy, celebrates its Deepavali in its own way.

It is that time of the year to celebrate colour. To deify the sweet sound of the victory of good over evil and pass some sweets.  Even as you pass the sweets around, may I invite you to consider passing some happiness around too. Make some big contribution to someplace and forget about it. Or maybe buy an ice-cream to a slum kid. Or a dress. Too expensive? How about a balloon? Whatever.

After doing all of this, think about how you could do this every month! Or maybe, every week. Why not, every day? As my grandmother used to say, help as much as you can. And when you are done, help some more.

And so, may we soak up much of the Deepavali spirit. May it last long after the festival is done. Let there be a perpetual sparkle in our eyes.  May wonder stay.

Happy Deepavali!

A Riot Of Colour

A riot of colour and a rich fodder for thought!

She is in a sparkling pink and I in an odd blue. Her eye for colours catches my ear. For every time she chooses one, she exclaims aloud. “Red” “Blue”. And so on. She paints with tentative strokes first. Then come bold ones. After a while, she says “Over”. A riot of color is all that remains as she darts away to play. I look at her work. Her strokes fill my heart with happiness. This moment has been the highlight of this festive season.

Festivities are about colour to the senses. You feel a sense of completion to be with close ones and do simple things. A feeling that escapes description and begs for it to be let easy. Diwali especially is a feast for all senses. Homes get lit. After being cleaned and washed. Sweets get made in abundance. And There are no reasons to not tuck in the extra one. There is noise in the air ( not to speak of discounts and offers in every shop and website ). A ‘cannot be missed’ warmth in people. The security guard smiles a little extra even as the stern neighbour nods just a tad more in acknowledgment. You are benign with the odd gasbag who spams your inbox with a ‘Happy Diwali’ message, consigning his message to the recycle bin with a smile.

As the festival wind thin, a thick question remains. A question that my little miss posed to me: “Why can’t every day be Diwali?” Indeed, I thought. Why can’t it be?

Why can’t there be this richness in our daily life? A richness that exudes colour, space and that little bit of warmth that can add so much more to our lives. Kindness, acceptance, some accommodation. Some peace. A way of thinking that is inclusive and respectful. That after all is the spirit of Diwali. For that matter, that after is the spirit of all major festivals of the world!

As I gazed hard at her random brush strokes, the gaiety in her question only pointed to possibility and choice. We have the choice, I told myself. To live it up in a simple, kind way. Perhaps we need to be reminded that this choice exists until we don’t have to be reminded. A choice that we can consciously make. A choice to revel in abundance and to forever seek to live a life that is of meaning.

A new energy coursed my veins. A riot of colour, as I call this piece, will be my north star of sorts, I told myself. A north star that reminds me that in a world that leans towards mono-chromatic rhythms, multicoloured richness is important. That is being human by soaking in all the richness we come endowed with.

So this Diwali, I have a wish for you. A wish that comes from my daughter and everybody around. May the festivities never end. May we lead a life soaked in colour and joy. May we have the courage to wander yet be decisive. May the humanness in us overpower the insecurities that seep in. May our life be something to someone. May we be kind to one another. May there be a riot of colour.


A riot of colour



Beyond coverage area !

Deepavali wishes to you! Heres wishing the cheer and spirit of the festive season stays with us all through. Lightening up our futures and lightening down our loads.

The mobile phone companies thought it fit to announce ‘the person you are calling is out of coverage area’ to everyone who called us during Deepavali. Mobile companies do this as whimsy would fancy on any other day, is but a non issue, when you consider that we weren’t really complaining this time around.

(Thankfully, they are yet to spill the beans like’The person you are calling is beyond redemption’ or something to that effect).

Yes. Dear reader. I was traveling again. To a place that was indeed ‘beyond coverage area’. I must confess, as usual, I have an ocean of stories to tell with a sea of snaps to choose from. Alas, there lies the cesspool of choice and the consequent ideal condition for an air of general laziness to survive thrive.

Well, that will be worked upon.

Maharashtra has a platter that can satiate a traveler’s hunger by filling him / her up, right till the first molar! The veritable challenge therefore is much like a ‘multiple choice question’ in an MBA entrance exam. Every given choice, seems to make perfect sense and as was told to me several years back, half in jest, the best way to crack these multiple tests was the propitious ‘inky-pinky-ponky’ method.

Oops. I deviate. Sorry. As usual, that was a paragraph of verbal diarrhea to let you know that a traveler in Maharashtra is spoilt for choice.

There are ancient temples in such glorious extravagant offering of simplicity and peace. Right beside there is nature bathed in portentous silence of all urban noise. Scattered en route are forts that majestically shoot out into the sky, each with a story to tell and a tale to recall. A surfeit of beaches that beseech your soul and peaks that seem to power into the sky.

Add to that: flora and fauna that you can fawn over a lifetime.Rivers that flow and insects that glow. Not to mention, the acres and acres of paddy, vegetable and sugar cane fields, farmers and others with warmth that is well beyond a city dweller’s realm.

For a traveler that likes variety, this presents an opportunity beyond parallel to hoover-up all that comes by just having to take one road and experiencing everything. Rather nice. To put it mildly.

This time around, the sights were set in a new direction.

“No phones. No TV. No air conditioning. Just about basic facilities. You still want to go there?” was a question that was propped. It would have taken a starving glutton longer to have said ‘yes’ to food, than it took us to agree to this proposition.

Off we went. Driving through meandering roads and relishing every sight possible. Walking into villages, having tea with strangers and trying our hand at herding cattle. Not to mention pulling by the roadside to admire the Western Ghats, and the moments in prayer and points that we pondered over!

Moments slipped away as we sat in the stillness of the dawns and dusks listening to an orchestra conducted by beings that we couldn’t see, long before the first rays of the sun showed up and forever after the sun disappeared.

We are still a trifle tired in the muscle and bone but perhaps the mind is far too calmer. And that makes it worth it all.

Of course, you will hear more! Indulge me a few posts, if you will and watch this space !

Diwali is here !

Diwali is here !

Tons of sweets beckon. Unknown taste buds get rekindled. There are lights that glitter in distant balconies. The next door neighbours door sports festive diyas. Roads teem with people. In threes. Fours. Neighbourhoods out to buy. Clothes. Crackers. Food. Gifts. Appliances. And such else that highly paid marketing folks have engineered.

Discount sales are the order of the day. DhanteRas comes up with some serious Gold prices. Prices that would have left the goddess of wealth beaming !

There are lights, lamps, rangoli and ‘traditional’ dress to work. The lines between ‘Fashion Show’ and ‘Fancy Dress’ run thin.

Children crank up the volume on the cracker front. And of course, have a blast of a time, enjoying the get-togethers and gala times. With toy pistols and such else. Imagining themselves to be some action film hero. And fashionable villains. But these are besides the point.

Diwali is here !

Television has ‘Diwali ‘ specials. Same serials in brighter colours. Same film heroes. Same heroines. And those news channels, those same views from the same chaps. Chaps who come on TV to give ‘points of views’ on anything from Terrorism to Ostentation to Culture to anthropology to..yes…Diwali too.

The corporate and government types get ‘gifts’. Of walnuts and fruits. Of sweets. And such else. AND SUCH ELSE.

Perhaps it would be befitting, if the world got whats most required for it ! Perhaps a spirit of giving. A smile. A moment. A kind word. An acknowledgement. And such else. Simple deeds that touch people deeply. Deeds that acknowledge that there is a world of human beings and human thoughts.

These are besides the point.

Diwali is here !

Diwali messages from banks, insurance companies, mobile operators, holiday homes and such else hit the inbox with such recurring ferocity that the ‘delete’ tab feels the weight of the world.

And yet, there are long lost friends. Recent colleagues. Blog world friends. Forgotten relatives, who send in a word. Make a call. Words that perhaps are soaked in possibilities and new beginnings. Hope is permanent fixture here. But these are besides the point.

Diwali is here !

Its supposed to be the festival of “Victory of Good over Evil”. There is conversation at the get-together. Whether the emphasis on ‘Victory of Good over Evil’ has to be on the ‘good’, ‘evil’ or on ‘victory’ ! Thats besides the point. Diwali is here !

Like the elderly uncle who said, “The emphasis has to be on the sweets !”

So here are some wishes that go out to the world. On this blog too.

For happiness. For cheer. For wisdom. For kindness. For health. For giving. For reflection. For time. For life. And for living. For Good.

Happy Diwali people. Diwali is indeed here !

A Diwali that was besides the point !

Deepavali or Diwali. This year, it was markedly different for me. For us. For the first time in our lives, we chose to embrace the festivity with a ‘getaway spirit’ than a ‘stay and splurge’ spirit. So we chose to drive away into the mountain whorls of the Western Ghats. And headed to Mahabaleshwar.

The stillness of the morning air. The smooth chill. The green. The no-network coverage for mobile phones. The well laid out roads. Mother nature’s inviting green & pristine colours. And the need to just put a leg up in the air and reflect on whats been and what will be. The scent that the winds would carry in the near and far seasons perhaps need a quieter sniffing.

That to me was good. All good. Diwali after all is the spirit of victory of good over evil. Isn’t it. ( OK, I grant it. ‘Strawberry with cream’ is definitely EVIL. But that’s an indulgent evil, if that was some http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/asthma/ consolation !

Getting away for four days was good. But getting back to spots of road that are present amids roads of potholes, concrete ‘uprisings’, the computer, killer news ridden news papers et al has been quite an effort.

But the days spent in quiet hibernation seems to give me momentum. The open space, fresh air, star filled skies have evoked a spirit that says, ‘a difference can be made’ !

So, this Diwali, we were bereft of a slew of things. New clothes and calorie rich spirit and smoke ridden happiness and jazzy clothes and ever beeping mobile phones and ever growing ‘to-do’ lists.

But why am i feeling richer ? Is this really victory of good over evil ? hmm!! , i would like to think so.

But that really is besides the point !!! Or atleast, was besides many points. This Diwali !

Happy Diwali. Cheers for a great festive season !