It was Chhoti Diwali. The day before Karthik Amavasya. The precursor to the day when India bursts forth in illuminated joyous celebration of the victory of good over evil. The festival of lights, Diwali.
Normally amāvasyā, or no moon day, is considered inauspicious, but Karthik Amavasya that comes at Deepavali time is benevolent and prosperity bestowing, much like Kojagari Purnima, or full moon day. The colour black, darkness, evil spirits and black magic are all normally associated with amavasya.
Several Diwali legends are popular in different parts of the country: Naraka Chaturdashi in the south, Kali Pujo in Bengal, the return of Lord Ram and Sita to Ayodhya after long years in exile, in the north. And, of course, it coincides with the annual visit of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, good fortune and prosperity, who we usher into our homes to seek her blessings.
This Chhoti Diwali, to add to all the usual festive excitement, the rain gods Indra and Varuna decided to play unseasonal spoilsports. While rains do have romantic and poetic connotations, at Diwali time they can be quite the bummer. Diyas or oil lamps are lazy to light, firecrackers resist firing and getting around visiting friends and family is quite a challenge. Nevertheless, cleaning, decorating, illuminating our homes and cooking and serving goodies continued unfettered!
While tackling all this, the festive spirit remained high and I was wondering what I ought to wear to rejoice and welcome the goddess. On auspicious or religious occasions, one has always been advised to avoid wearing black. But this is one very special saree, a head turner, I’d like to believe. I bought it from Vimor long ago and it holds many warm, precious, learning filled memories for me. How could it possibly be inauspicious? 
In addition to that, the mallimoggu motif on a Kanjivaram symbolizes jasmine buds and raindrops, both of which were very much a part of my Diwali celebrations this year!
So, defying convention and embracing love and old friendships, I draped it to first welcome Ketav and Anju Kadam into our home and visit friends later the same evening. 
On a dreary, drippy November afternoon, over cups of steaming hot adrak chai and home made mithai, mathri and namak paare, we exchanged gifts and talked about old times, the children (Hallelujah!) and silently thanked God for friendships forged along the way. Thank you for dropping by, both of you.
Each time I have worn this stunner, I have received compliments and faced queries in equal measure. The silk has softened amazingly over the years and today it drapes better and more effortlessly than when I first acquired it. Much like cherished old friendships and shared traditional celebrations at festival time!
Happy Diwali everyone! May good continue to prevail over evil around the world. And may this festival of lights dispel gloom and darkness from our lives and light our way in the days ahead.

(Visited 148 times, 1 visits today)