Near Office

This tea vendor near my office has started serving eatables recently on his good old ‘Thela’.

Poor guy doesn’t know English well. Just look at the menu card and decide if you want to eat anything there!

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The Festival of Light

On the 21st of last month was the last day of Navratri and was the day of Dussera or Dashhara, A festival, which depicts the victory of good over evil. This very day, Lord Rama killed the evil king Ravana of Lanka and freed his abducted wife while he was in the forest for 14 years as wished by his stepmother. To celebrate the festival, all over India, in all the cities, towns and villages big effigies of Ravana are burnt every year since then.

All of my family got together at Barwani to celebrate the festival. It was fun all over again. It was Priyanka’s first time visit to Barwani and we all enjoyed the trip a lot. We had some of the best time together after a long time. And speaking of the festival season and family time, I’d like to add; Diwali the biggest, brightest ad festival of light of is starting from next Wednesday and will continue till Sunday.

Do you know that the very day of Diwali, Lord Rama returned from Lanka after killing Ravana to his kingdom of Ayodhya? There are many facts and faces of the festival which has so many beliefs and occasion to cheer…

Here is an essay on Diwali for you all.

Apart from being the most widely celebrated, Diwali is perhaps one of the prettiest of all Indian festivals. The word Diwali comes from the word “Dipawali” and falls on the last day of the last month of lunar calendar. Diwali is celebrated for five days (this year it falls on November 6 – 10). The uniqueness of this festival is its harmony of five varied philosophies, with each day to a special thought or ideal. Diwali is a time when every establishment is illuminated with “Deeps”- oil lamps and every heart is filled with joy. Delighted children set off fireworks in the spirit of festival.

The five day celebration of Diwali begins with “Dhanteras”. Dhanteras is the day to worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Indian culture has never considered wealth to be corruptive. According to the Indian culture a wealthy man is considered to be God’s beloved child, he is rewarded for the good deeds done in past life.

The second day is celebrated as “Kali Chaudas”, the day to worship Kali, the goddess of Strength; the day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life. Physical strength used to harm others is called “Ashakti” or impious strength and that which is used for unselfish reasons is simply strength. The strength to protect others is referred as Kali, and if its used for God’s work it is called Mahakali. In the Mahabharat (an ancient epic), Ved Vyas has given us vibrant examples of human life by skillfully portraying three diverse characters of Duryodhana, Karna and Arjun. Duryodhan the eldest of Kauravas, who used his strength only for selfish motives, Karna who had vowed to use his prowess in the service of the Kauravas and Arjun who dedicated all he had in God’s work are examples of ashakti, kali and mahakali respectively.

Another name by which this day is remembered is “Narak Chaturdasi”. The story goes that Narakasur, the ill famed king of Pragjyotishpur was creating havoc in the society by the excessive use of his powers. He was responsible for the imprisonment of 16000 young women. Lord Krishna had decided to destroy this evil dictator. Satyabhama (wife of lord Krishna) took up the challenge of rescuing the innocent women and Lord Krishna fully supported Satyabhama in her mission. This day is celebrated as freedom from the tyranny of the evil king. People free from atrocities of the evil ruler joyously celebrated the event by lighting lamps to illuminate the night sky. Adorned in new clothes they set out on the streets to express their happiness.

Diwali, being the festival of lights, thousands of lamps are lit in and outside every home on the day. Lamp or “Deep” is the symbol of knowledge. Lighting the lamp of knowledge within us means to understand and reflect upon the significant purpose of each of the five days of festivities and to bring those thoughts in to our day to day lives. The day of Diwali is to remember mantra – Tamaso Ma JyotirGamaya, (lead us from darkness to light). We forget our enemies and jealousy, to lighten the path of life is done by lights. Its the last day of the year 2052 (as per the lunar almanac).

The day following New Year is celebrated as “Balipratipada”. Bali was a famous king in ancient India. He ignored the divine thoughts of the vedas and systematically removed the thousands of years old organized philosophy from the society. Inspite of his wrong doings, he had one good quality in him, i.e. he was a generous donor who gave from heart. To remember him on this day, his one good quality encourages us to perceive the goodness in others, even in our worst enemies. People who are blinded by “kanak” – gold or wealth and “kanta” – beauty or women become asur or demons. Lord Vishnu destroyed Bali and gave us unique outlook towards wealth and beauty.

Apart from being the most widely celebrated, Diwali is perhaps one of the prettiest of all Indian festivals. The word Diwali comes from the word “Dipawali” and falls on the last day of the last month of lunar calendar. Diwali is celebrated for five days (this year it falls on November 5 – 9). The uniqueness of this festival is its harmony of five varied philosophies, with each day to a special thought or ideal. Diwali is a time when every establishment is illuminated with “Deeps”- oil lamps and every heart is filled with joy. Delighted children set off fireworks in the spirit of festival.

The five day celebration of Diwali begins with “Dhanteras”. Dhanteras is the day to worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Indian culture has never considered wealth to be corruptive. According to the Indian culture a wealthy man is considered to be God’s beloved child, he is rewarded for the good deeds done in past life.

The second day is celebrated as “Kali Chaudas”, the day to worship Kali, the goddess of Strength; the day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life. Physical strength used to harm others is called “Ashakti” or impious strength and that which is used for unselfish reasons is simply strength. The strength to protect others is referred as Kali, and if its used for God’s work it i
s called Mahakali. In the Mahabharat (an ancient epic), Ved Vyas has given us vibrant examples of human life by skillfully portraying three diverse characters of Duryodhana, Karna and Arjun. Duryodhan the eldest of Kauravas, who used his strength only for selfish motives, Karna who had vowed to use his prowess in the service of the Kauravas and Arjun who dedicated all he had in God’s work are examples of ashakti, kali and mahakali respectively.

Another name by which this day is remembered is “Narak Chaturdasi”. The story goes that Narakasur, the ill famed king of Pragjyotishpur was creating havoc in the society by the excessive use of his powers. He was responsible for the imprisonment of 16000 young women. Lord Krishna had decided to destroy this evil dictator. Satyabhama (wife of lord Krishna) took up the challenge of rescuing the innocent women and Lord Krishna fully supported Satyabhama in her mission. This day is celebrated as freedom from the tyranny of the evil king. People free from atrocities of the evil ruler joyously celebrated the event by lighting lamps to illuminate the night sky. Adorned in new clothes they set out on the streets to express their happiness.

Diwali, being the festival of lights, thousands of lamps are lit in and outside every home on the day. Lamp or “Deep” is the symbol of knowledge. Lighting the lamp of knowledge within us means to understand and reflect upon the significant purpose of each of the five days of festivities and to bring those thoughts in to our day to day lives. The day of Diwali is to remember mantra – Tamaso Ma JyotirGamaya, (lead us from darkness to light). We forget our enemies and jealousy, to lighten the path of life is done by lights. It’s the last day of the year 2052 (as per the lunar almanac).

The day following New Year is celebrated as “Balipratipada”. Bali was a famous king in ancient India. He ignored the divine thoughts of the vedas and systematically removed the thousands of years old organized philosophy from the society. Inspite of his wrong doings, he had one good quality in him, i.e. he was a generous donor who gave from heart. To remember him on this day, his one good quality encourages us to perceive the goodness in others, even in our worst enemies. People who are blinded by “kanak” – gold or wealth and “kanta” – beauty or women become asur or demons. Lord Vishnu destroyed Bali and gave us unique outlook towards wealth and beauty.

Thus, this festival spreads the light of knowledge, happiness, culture and joy all around!

Happy Diwali!