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Friday, November 09, 2007

Deepavali 2007

A feisty 10-year old girl dodges Mother's calls to the kitchen... her older brother casually pushes her buttons with effortless ease watching her mounting fury with dispassionate amusement... Mother's "Come here now or else..." is met with "Amma, look at him, he is irritating me, I am going to hit him!"

Cutting forward to the climax, the feisty girl wails exaggeratedly dusting off the shower of savory Mixture snack particles upended on her head by her brother from a fairly full stainless steel container, while Mother tries to figure out what exactly happens to her well-behaved kids around festival days...

Not a single Deepavali hence has passed without us reminiscing and laughing off this incident. Needless to say, my brother got into trouble for this and being a teenager, walked out of the house briefly threatening non-participation in the festivities, got pacified by the bounty of fireworks Dad bought for Deepavali celebrations, and, all is well in the end.

Not too long ago I had wondered about celebrating festivals now that Ana is here... but, a quote from Meera's review from Saffron Tree sums up my feelings now:
... the prelude to imparting the deeper meanings and concepts of festivals to young children is simply kindling their curiosity to learn about them.

So, after an exhausting week at work, I put on a wide smile, draped a Pochampalli saree†, donned a few elegant bangles and ear-rings my mom gave me, lit all the lamps I could easily find and decided to kindle Ana's curiosity about Deepavali: Festival of Lights.
Pochampalli is a rural area in Deccan Plateau, about 50kms from Hyderabad, India, famous for many crafts including special weave of sarees.

deepavali festival of lights

"What's that, Amma?"
"Lamps, Ana. Nice, bright lamps. How many lamps do you see?"
"One lamp, Two lamp, Three lamp, Four lamp ... too many lamp, Amma!"

And hopefully next year, she will follow up with, "Why are there so many lamps, Amma?", when I hope to be ready with a simple and sweet explanation...

After a subdued celebration followed by a traditional yet simple meal of pearl onion arachu vitta sambar, potato curry, thayir pachadi and semiya payasam, plus some home-made Gulab Jamun from scratch, I sank back into the comfort of Deepavali memories from my childhood wistfully hoping to generate equally beautiful ones for Ana...

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At 11:10 AM, Blogger mnamma said...

You surely are creating beautiful memories for Ana! A very happy (belated) Deepavali to you and your family!

At 6:11 AM, Blogger Sandeepa said...

Sheela is that lamp collection all yours ? They are beautiful. Are they all the oil & wick ones ?

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

lovely pictures of the lights. Did you dress up Ana as well?

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

thanks mnamma, sandeepa and anitha...

sandeepa: yes, you are right, they are oil and wick lamps; some are traditional Kerala-style lamps given by my parents, some are TamilNadu-style ones that were mostly wedding gifts, and baby gifts from family/friends...

anitha: Ana dressed herself up in what she wanted to wear, not what I had picked out for her to wear :( She decided to be a ladybug that day, rather than pattu-pavadai clad little girl :)

At 11:33 PM, Blogger avagdro said...

Thanks Sheela for sharing.Pretty creative works indeed.Wish you all the best.

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