Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy Diwali!!

Deepavali is approaching and I take this opportunity to wish all of you a ‘HAPPY DIWALI AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR’.

I was reminded of the time when we lived in company quarters some 20 years back. I would celebrate Deepavali the traditional Tamilian way and we would bathe and wear new clothes before daybreak. There were about 6 tamilian families in the immediate neighborhood and we’d compete to see who burst the first cracker. Exchange of sweets would start around six in the morning and the first door to knock would be that of the Sinhas who lived just below our flat.

Mrs. Sinha would invariably grumble about the ruckus we created and found our Deepavali celebration very odd.

“Deepavali is a festival of lamps and is to be celebrated in the evening. You Tamilians seem to be opposite to us in so many ways”, she’d say.

Not knowing how best to defend myself, I’d stay quiet or say that we found it odd to wait till evening to burst crackers. I’d also add that since I finished celebrating Diwali in the morning I was free to prepare laddoos for her in the afternoon. Yes, on Diwali day, I had the enthusiasm to prepare laddoos for her too. Her family looked forward to the treat with a lot of eagerness.

Many years later, after they moved to another area and we were not able to meet regularly during Diwali and Holi, I stumbled upon an explanation for the difference in the time of Deepavali celebration of in the south as compared to the northern India. A friend of mine explained to me that Lord Ram after conquering Ravan crossed Tamilnadu at daybreak and reached Ayodhya in the evening and this is the reason why Tamilians celebrate Diwali in the morning and people in the north wait till evening to do the same. Well, Deepavali is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura in Tamilnadu and Lord Rama doesn’t actually come into the picture as far as I know. However my friend’s explanation seemed acceptable enough. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to offer the explanation to Mrs. Sinha and since she is no more I never will be able to pull her legs about it.

Whether it was Lord Ram’s victory or Lord Krishna’s is not an important issue. What is important is that we all have a Ram and a Ravan residing right within us and let us try to conquer the evil forces in our minds and in society by using the good side of our nature to crush evil beyond recognition and celebrate our success with carefree abandon by spreading the message of universal brotherhood. Happy Diwali once again!

47 comments:

Gauri said...

A very happy, peaceful and prosperous Deepawali to you to Gmom :-)

That was a good one - about why people in the North wait until evening to celebrate Diwali :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Diwali.

And interesting stories. I'd think that without something magical it would be difficult to be in Tamilnadu during daytime & in Ayodhya in the evening. If you know how that story unfolded, can you tell us?

About conquering the evil inside, I wrote this piece on Diwali last year. It is ultimately about that, isn't it?

I'd recommend turning word verfication on for commenting on your blog.

S!

itchingtowrite said...

happy diwali. r u in US or India? if u don't mind, i'd like to reply to anon's comment on being in Tamil nadu during morning & ayodhya during evening- Lord ram had come back in ravan's pushpak Viman!! must have beena long flight for them & also they had had a stop over at kishkinta!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's right. I had totally forgotten. Sorry to hijack hip grandma's blog space for my own ends, but an interesting piece of information in the context is that Hampi in Karnataka is the location of the mythical Kishkindha. It also has a mountain/hill by the same name. And yes, there is absolute no dearth of monkeys there, & by my experience, they're more descendents of Baali than Sugreev. :)

S!

Nee said...

Happy Diwali to you and yours too, HG!

indianangel said...

happy diwali to you too! It has been a little close to 4 years now since I celebrated Diwali. your points on krishna and ram was funny. but its true we brush aside our thoughts on evil and do good and be more cheerful!

Balaji said...

Happy Deepawali. I really don't think it does matter for what reason you are celebrating. It is the time to treat your siblings are parents with something special, a day to spend time with friends, a day to make sweets and eat, a day to burst crackers, a day to visit temple in your best clothes. I think that matters more than the reason for celebration.

Saumya said...

Ravana or no......it is the holiday mood that I remember more and the sweets. new clothes!!!

Happy Diwali to dear hip hop gmom!

Archana Bahuguna said...

Really nice post. Me been thinking about Diwali too. Missing it here in US actually. But have decided to do something and make it beautiful.

And yes, that's true, Diwali and Dussehra have more than one reasons of celebration all over the country. Came to know that better after coming here. But their essence and spirit is all the same, isnt it?

You have a great Diwali too! :-)

Hip Grandma said...

gauri:Happy Diwali.Yeah,I liked the explanation too.

anon:The piece recommended and written by you sums it up very well.many festivals in India are celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil.

Hip Grandma said...

ITW:That was a nice explanation.May I appoint you as my defence lawyer?Happy Diwali.

S!:Didn't know about Kishkinta.Thanx for the info.

nee:happy Diwali to you too.

indianangel:4 years since you celebrated Diwali?Make sure that you're in India next year.you seem to be missing a lot.Happy Diwali!

balaji:The celebration and reaching out to people is an imp.part of the festival and that is why Diwali is so special.But the other part of the triumph of good over evil is a concept that has to be emphasized.Happy Diwali.

Saumya:The variety os sweets distributed-Makes my mouth water!!
And the way we looked forward to new clothes.Children of the digital age are indeed missing something.Happy Diwali.

archana:you are right.The essence of celebrating festivals is the same whatever the reason.Happy Diwali

Mosilager said...

I miss the fireworks in Delhi... the sky would be lit up and of course the fun of setting off rockets and those chakrams that used to whizz around the floor.

anon. interesting that you mention monkeys, apparently there's some speculation that the vanars and bears (jambavan) and jatayu (vulture) represent tribes who had these animal totems.

Well, happy new year to everyone!

Mahadevan said...

Happy Diwali.

What I enjoy most is the festive look the whole city wears. Peole carry oversized bags and packets and gifts galore everywhere. As you said correctly, Diwali symbolises the triumph of the good over evil; whether Ram or Krishna vanguished over the wicked, is not relevant.

artnavy said...

A very happy Diwali to you and your kin.

Shini said...

Happy Diwali to U and your family, G'Ma!!! :)

shruti said...

wishing you also a very happy and prosperous new year....

Vin said...

Got here thru itchingtowrite. you have a nice blog here. will visit again.

I remember my aunt telling that in north india it is cold now, so they cannot wake up early. So rather they prefere late night celebrations. (not sure if it is true)

Happy Diwali!!

Balaji said...

You are right grandma. The win of good over evil should also not be forgotten during deepawali.

Anonymous said...

wishing you and your family a very happy and a prosperous diwali.


I had always wondered why the north and the south celebrated at different times of the day:)thank you for the insight! nice post

-Susmita

Vidhya Rajesh said...

Oh! hip hop grandma -- you have brought back very sweet memories with this post...
We were in Andhra for years and there too they celeberate diwali in the evening... we would wake up early in the morning to burst crackers and would strain our ears to hear the other tamilian family living 3 streets away from us bursting their crackers :) ....

And the ladooos .... ummmm... i miss them all so much :( ....

Happy diwali to you too ....

Dr@ma Div@ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr@ma Div@ said...

wish you and your family a very happy diwali! May this Diwali be sparkling, bright and full of life!

Hip Grandma said...

mosilager:welcome here.I'll be missing fireworks too.happy Diwali.

Mahadevan:yes sir, you are right.for many poor families Diwali is an outlet to forget their cares and enjoy the day in whatever modest way they can.happy Diwali.

artnavy:happy Diwali to you too.

shini:Thank you and same to you.

Shruti:Same to you.

balaji;Diwali is the time to reach out to people in any possible way,to bury differences and to start anew.We cannot do it unless we replace evil with goodness.

susmita:Happy Diwali to you too susmita.I found the story interesting too.

vidya rajesh:Isn't it wonderful to remember the days gone by?These are little things that remind us of our culture and tradition.Happy Diwali.

drama diva:thank you and wish you the same.

Monika said...

Happy Diwali to u and ur family too... May the light and the good ness diwali brings stay forever ...

and this offers a excellent explanation to the question that i too was wondering for long... we at home though celebrate at both times because of the reasons i described earlier :)

diwali is one of my fav festivals... the whole city is lighted up and looks so gorgeous... and of course like all indian festivals has loads to teach us

Usha said...

Happy deepavali to you and your family.
One of the nice things about India is the diversity even in celebrating the same festival - I suppose we should look at it as multiplying of the joy of the same festival and try to participate.
And it is these that unite us wherever we are.

Jay said...

Happy Deepavali to you and your family, too!

hillgrandmom said...

Happy Deepavali H Grandmom! Are you back in India or still in the US?

Hip Grandma said...

Monika:Deepavali has to be celebrated in good spirits.Morning or evening does not matter.Good that your family celebrates it both times!happy Deepavali.

Usha:How right you are!Festivals are meant to unite hearts aren't they?Happy Deepavali!

jay:same to you jay!

hillg'mom:seasons greetings to you too hillg'mom.And do wish your adorable mom for me.My namaskarams to her.

Rajitha said...

Happy Diwali to you too!! Your post has evoked many memories.. Thank you!!

Hip Grandma said...

Rajitha:Thanks and wish you the same.

Tanushree said...

a very happy diwali to you and your family....

Has to be me said...

Enjoy ur Diwali with ur family. Have a blast of a good time! :)

Sreejith Kumar said...

Think this is the first time I am here.... A very happy Diwali to you and your family! :-)

Hip Grandma said...

Tanushree:Thanks and same to you.

has to be me:Thanks and wish you the same.

sreejit kumar:Yeah, I too think this is your first time here tho' I've read your comments in other blogs.welcome here.Happy Diwali to you too.

The Kid said...

happy diwali!

The Talkative Man said...

what train leaves TN at morn and reaches Ayodhya by evening? Kidding :o)

Happy diwali HHG!

கடல்கணேசன் said...

Happy Diwali Grandma,

I have started my own Blog now.(I wrote to you in the name of 'Prince of Tides' long back.)

I invite you to visit my Blog(it is in tamil)

www.kadalganesan.blogspot.com

V N said...

Wonderful Diwali wishes to you and ur family, Hiphop. I am right on time, I hope....

:D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are lucky to be celebrating Diwali in India. Wish you a very Happy Diwali too :-)

abha said...

Thanks for your wishes. Wish you a very happy Diwali too.

Hip Grandma said...

the kid:Thanks for your wishes.Same to you.

the talkative man:Ram traveled by the pushpak viman according to Itching to write.Happy Diwali.

Prince of tides:Thank you and happy Diwali to you too.I am not able to access Tamil blogs.I'll see what to do when I return to India.I seem to miss so much.

velu:Thank you and wish you the same.You're on time alright.

anon:I'm not in India.I'm still in America and will leave in 2 days.The incentive is celebrating diwali with my children & grandkid.Happy Diwali.

abha:Same to you.

bhupinder said...

"In the belief pattern of the Tamils, however, Krishna defeated and killed a ferocious foe (of humanity) called Naraksura when night merged into day on Divali — a day prior to new moon day (amavasya). It is the well-deserved death of Narakasura that the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu — a mere 2 per cent of the population — celebrate with sweets and fireworks.

But before that they go through an oil bath as a mark of respect to the slain asura. It may appear like playing on both sides of the net, but actually, it is neutrality and fairplay most delicately balanced."

rest here

Hip Grandma said...

bhupinder:thanks for the link.Happy Diwali.

princeparas said...

Happy Diwali !

Anali said...

Thank you for the story and I hope you had a Happy Diwali!

Hip Grandma said...

princeparas:Thank you and wish you the same.

anali:Diwali has so many stories explaining the reason for celebrating the festival.Dispelling darkness,be it of the mind or otherwise is the main idea behind it.Thank you for your greetings and season's greetings to you too.

Anonymous said...

Happy Diwali to everyone, May this Diwali bring in u the most brightest and choicest happiness and love you have ever Wished for.

Sunny
Institute of Child Development