Diwali, and on to Delhi & Agra
The holiday time of Diwali, the festival of lights, has come to India. The pix above came from Saturday evening, strolling about Koregaon Park after our dinner, and what they portray is typical – every home and business must show its lights. The “supermarket” shown in the right-most pic was doing a brisk trade; paper lanterns and fairy lights sell in vast quantities this time of year. We have such a lantern hung in our living room:
It is hard to describe Diwali. It’s natural to link such observances to something from your own experience. For example, there’s many gifts exchanged, so some people might say, “Oh, it’s like Christmas.” Others might hear Diwali commemorates different cases of good triumphing over evil – light triumphing over darkness and all that – so you might say it is like a more solemn Christian observance of Easter, or a Jewish one of Hanukah. Finally there’s lots of food and family visiting, so you might say it’s like Thanksgiving. None of these, nor any other trite parallel, is true to the feeling you get here – Diwali is its own thing.
In addition to our lantern, we are following our Indian friends and neighbors in yet another holiday practice: vacation! Since our visit to Aurangabad last February we haven’t really taken any time off, so we certainly are due. Since most schools are out all week for the holiday, this is when people go to visit distant family, take relaxation, or go sight-seeing. Count us in the latter category: Our destinations, Agra and the Taj Mahal, then India’s capital city, New Delhi. Tomorrow at 6 am our flight departs. I will try for some posts this week while we are seeing all these sights, though I can’t promise anything.
It’s evening here, and the festival fireworks are starting, color bursts in the sky far and near, interspersed with reports of varying loudness – from pop-gun to howitzer. Till I post here again:
Diwali ki Shubhkamnayein!