Diwali 2013

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Happy Diwali everyone!

I know I’m a day late in wishing you all but yesterday was so busy that I hardly had time to get my PC started.

I hope you all had an awesome Diwali! I personally had a great time. 🙂

Me and my sister made a rangoli and decorated the entire doorway to our place with earthen lamps and fairy lights. 

And then there was the ‘Mandir‘ to be decorated for the Laxmi Puja. Also, dressing up for the evening ‘Pooja‘ and the crackers and fireworks at night!

Diwali is celebrated as the day when Lord Ram, his wife Sita and younger brother Laxman came back to their kingdom Ayodhya from their 14 years of exile in the forest. It is said that the entire kingdom welcomed them by lighting lots of earthen lamps in their homes (hence the ritual of lighting lamps, which is now mostly replaced by fairy lights).  

Sita was known as the incarnation of Goddess Laxmi (the goddess of wealth and well being), so on this day as Sita came back home, goddess laxmi is worshipped all over India and welcomed home.

I read the following super hilarious take on the story of Diwali on the internet as told by an ABCD (American Born Confused Desi-Indian) to his younger brother. I hope you find it as funny as I did. I nearly fell off the chair while reading it. It made an otherwise serious scripture from our mythology totally funny!!

It goes like this…

“So, like this dude had, like, a big cool kingdom and people liked him.
But, like, his step mom, or somethin’, was kind of a bitch, and she forced
her husband to, like, you know, send this cool dude, he was Ram, to some national forest or reserve or somethin’.

Since he was going, for like, somethin’ like more than 10 years or so,
he decided to take his wife and his bro along. You know… so that they
could all chill out together. But dude, the forest was reeeeeeal scary shit,
really man, they had monkeys and devils and shit like that. But this
dude, Ram, kicked their ass with darts, bows and arrows, so it was fine. But then some bad gansta’ boys, some jerk called Ravan, picks up his babe (Sita) and lures her away to his hood. And boy, were our man, and his bro Lakshman, pissed! And you don’t piss this son-of-a-gunz ‘coz, he just kicks ass and like, all the gods were with him. So anyways, you don’t mess with gods.

So, Ram and his bro get an army of monkeys. Dude, don’t ask me how they trained the damn monkeys, just go along with me, OK. So, Ram, Lakhs, and their monkeys whip this gansta’s ass in his own hood. Anyways, by now, their time’s up in the forest and anyways, it gets kinda boring. You know no TVs or malls or shit like that. So, they decided to hitch back home.

His bro and the wife are back home. People thought, well, you know,
atleast they deserve somethin’ nice and they didn’t have any bars and clubs in those days. So they couldn’t take them out for a drink, so the people decided to smoke or shit. And they also had some lamps, they lit the lamps too. So it was pretty cooool… you know with all those fireworks really, they had some local band play along with the fireworks, and you know what, dude, that was the very first, no kidding, that was the very first musical-synchronized fireworks. You know, like the 4th of the July stuff, but just more cooler and stuff, you know. And, so dude, that was how, like, this festival started. Cool!!!

Diwali Rocks Maaaan!”

You can find more pictures here

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And We Kickstart The Festivities!

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This weekend had the ultimate festive high for India. With Saturday being the ‘Durga Ashtami” or Durga Pooja as it’s popularly called and on Sunday the festival of Dussehra, it was all about having fun with friends and family.

Durga Pooja is mainly celebrated in the eastern states of India. Primarily in the state of West Bengal. The Pooja kickstarts on the fifth day of the Navratri and the eighth day or the “Ashtami” is the main event.

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My bestie is a Bengali so at her place the Durga Pooja is obviously a big deal. Every year I make sure I go her place on the Ashtami and we have a blast! Its so much fun celebrating together. And this year was even more special because another of our best friend was in town after four years. So it became a re-union of sorts. And man was it fun!

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After the traditional “Arti” with the Dhol (Drum roll) playing  as the background music we had the best of time eating some super awesome food and clicking pictures like a bunch of crazy people. 😀

We chatted, we ate, clicked pictures, had in short had an insanely good time together. I can’t show you the pictures of us because I fear being certified crazy once again. 😛

Next day i.e. Sunday was Dussehra or what is also know as Vijay Dashmi.

Dussehra is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Ram had killed the Demon ‘Ravan’ on this day. So all over India, effigies of Ravan are burnt symbolising the end or destruction of evil.

Now ‘Ravan‘ was the villian in our mythology as was a fierce looking demon. But the effigies that are made of him are sometimes so funny looking that it makes me laugh uncontrollably! The effigy makers try their best to make ‘Ravan‘ look fierce with big moustaches and all but this year the face of the Effigy that was put up near my house was orange, so it kinda defeated the whole purpose of it looking like a demon! 😛

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Any ways, on Dussehra, at my place we worship weapons. It’s an old ritual that all the warrior families used to follow. All the weapons like swords etc that were used for self defence were worshipped on this day. Now my uncle still had tradition carved swords and ‘Kirpaans‘ but my dad worships a pen!

He say’s that being a Chartered Accountant, his pen is as good as his sword!

Oh Well! “A pen is mightier than a sword” comes true on that day at my place 😛

All the family comes together on this day and we always have jalebi’s in the evening bought by my grand father, But this year he was not with us because he’s holidaying in the U.S. so we postponed the jalebi’s for when he comes back. 🙂

Pictures by Clickaholicks