Ever since I was a little girl, Diwali has been one of my favourite festivals. I never liked the crackers and the bombs but I loved lighting the little diyas. Every Diwali, parents bought those small earthen lamps along with a big earthen lamp. They were then put in a tub full of water. After some time, they were taken out and put in the sun. Once they dried up, we kept them aside. Towards the evening, we children arranged them in a big plate and put a wick in each of them and poured oil in each of those little lamps. Then, we went on the terrace with those lamps.
We used to keep the plate with the lamps on the ground. We lit the big lamp first. Then we used to place three or four small lamps next to the big lamp and soon those lamps were lit. We then would arrange the four lamps in such a way that each of those lamps could light three other lamps.
Some how the act of lighting those lamps made me feel as if there was a glow deep within my own heart. Their quiet, flickering flame silently braved all the breeze that is generally a characteristic feature of the moonless night. If a lamp flickered too much, sheltering it with the hand was enough to console the tiny light.
Though these days, all kinds of lights are used in Diwali, lighting the small earthen lamp and gazing into its flickering light is still something I look forward to. It makes me believe that as long as we have this tiny flickering light of hope deep within our hearts, nothing will be impossible for us even on a moonless, windy night!
The stars in the sky also look like little lamps to me. I once read that when we look at the stars in the sky, we are actually looking back in time for the light of these stars takes millions of years to reach us. By the time, the light reaches us and we see the star, it is probably long gone!
Today, I wish a very happy Diwali to all of you who are travelling on this path of light, love, hope, togetherness. Whether or not we meet, I pray that your life is as warm as the little lamps that brighten up our Diwali and long lasting as the stars, whose light continues to guide us long after they are gone!
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