Deepawali (row of diyas/clay lamps) or Diwali, marks Lord Rama entering his kingdom, Ayodhya, after killing Ravana in Treta yuga (one epoch), and also, Satyabhama (yes, woman power), wife of Lord Krishna, killing the demon Narakasura in Dwapara yuga ( another epoch). In this modern epoch, Kali yuga, this celebration is to remind us to conquer the evil thoughts with in us, and to walk from darkness towards the light; from ignorance towards seeking the knowledge.
Taking a trip down the memory lane strolling around the catholic church in our school which was part of my every day life once, brings beautiful memories of my childhood Christmas. Queuing up to watch Jesus’ grotto in our Headmistress’ room, that eagerness to taste those delicious cookies (minus oven then in my town) by close friends who celebrated this festival is still crisp in my mind. Not to forget that one television channel the whole nation watched with variations to regional languages; but still, we all watched those famous movies of Jesus -Karuna mayudu and Daya mayudu around this time filling us with empathy and sympathy. Unity in diversity has been our mantra.
Moving to UK, novel to me are the joyful concepts of Santa Claus and having our own Christmas tree.
Golden rule for a happy global village lies in embracing our differences whilst advocating ‘unity in diversity’!
Just as the new moon is a sign of prosperity, for me, autumn is a sign of hope. New moon can only grow; autumn will only set the stage for the spring!
Relating it to the countries I have lived in, autumn has different connotations, celebrations, and appearances. In India, which has its own lunisolar calendar, this is the festive time. From celebrating Ganesha, the elephant-head god to Navaratri, the goddess of power – Durga, to Diwali, the festival of lights; it’s festive time. Every tradition in the autumn is related to beating the cold around, swatting the mosquitoes that are on rise because of the open drainage system, and post-monsoon water-puddles that breed them.English summer, marked by the lush greenery and the majestic aromatic plants, paves way for autumn by either being dormant or shedding their leaves standing up tall letting us have a clear view of our neighbourhoods, but gradually the days get shorter.There will be days one may not see the sun at all, given their work hours. Carving pumpkins, gathering around the bonfires, apple plucking fests, and counting down for Santa Claus, help us navigate through the dark faster.In US, it’s interesting! End of June, we see pumpkins and Halloween decors in the retail shops. we do wonder at the commercial farsightedness. By autumn, we see countdowns for Christmas, those happy holidays signs everywhere reminding us to book our holidays; one more commercial push! It’s a unanimous decision that celebration is common in autumn wherever we are. Halloween’s brings the deadly creative side of everyone out. One major aspect of any celebration is food. In the west, salads will be on the decline and soups take the top spot. In India, every festival has its own specialty dishes. But the most common festive dish in south of India is, Tamarind rice, pulihara. The aroma of this rice brings the vibrance.
Autumn definitely brings dry leaves and cold weather to mind; that shouldn’t necessarily mean just the old leaves. For me this implies getting rid of dry relations and bringing warmth closer to our hearts. Cozy evenings with warm people anticipating the birth of new leaves, daffodils (in UK), Blue Bonnets (in Texas), Mangoes (in India) sounds very promising, For me autumn is the sign of hope!