Categories
Musings

The flickering flame


The tiny bulb burned itself out. And so did her friends. But the night was far darker than all of them combined.

“Oh what’s the point?” they sighed.

“But that IS the point,” said the divine light.

“Darkness will always exist. In the skies above and in lost souls below. It is your duty to burn as brightly as you can, so that even in darkness, the world can navigate.”

The night is long and bitter and it has only begun.

Shine. Shine as bright as you can. Till darkness gives up.


Sometimes life can be frustrating: Perhaps a loved one is unwell. Perhaps your own health is troubling you. Perhaps you miss old friends. Perhaps your manager spoke in an unjust manner… The list of things that can rattle us is endless.

It had been one such frustrating evening, not long ago. Being the night of Kaarthigai Deepam, I tried to put the day behind and hastily set out to make a kolam. It didn’t turn out too well, making me feel even worse. And then I lit a beautiful wax candle. Suddenly, everything seemed to be alright.

There’s something about a flickering flame — be it from an oil lamp, a wax candle, and to certain extent, fairy lights — that brings us happiness. Perhaps that’s why we light lamps at places of worship.


This post is inspired by two posts on Instagram, separated by time and context, and yet connected by light.


Categories
Stories

Defining eyes


I first applied homemade kajal when I visited an acquaintance many years ago. While I waited for my friend to get ready to head out, I chatted with her mother — a tall and slim, simple rural Haryanvi lady. As our mundane conversation veered towards the use of kajal, she mentioned that she had prepared some herself.

I had a vague idea about kajal being nothing but soot. But the small boxes available in the market contain a sticky substance which smeared, so I wasn’t quite sure. She showed me her preparation. The homemade kajal that I saw was, indeed, soot and a tad rough to the touch. I gingerly dipped my finger in it and applied it to the waterline of my eyes. To my surprise, it spread easily and gave a beautiful definition to my eyes. I wondered how she had made it, but our conversation was interrupted, and I didn’t get the chance to ask her.

Life has a funny way of answering our questions, and seemingly disconnected memories find themselves being connected into one big picture. I had shelved this memory of the homemade kajal in the corners of my brain. Until one fine day — on the first Deepavali after our wedding, to be precise — I saw my in-laws performing a puja.

I saw them pray, and then light a large earthen lamp. They then placed an empty lamp, upside down atop the flame, supported by smaller lamps around the flame.

The next morning, I saw our own kajal, ready to be used.

Kajal
The soot collected overnight, a.k.a kajal


This is post #13 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Categories
Hobbies

Happy Diwali


We mixed up the traditional white stone Kolam powder with colourful Rangoli powders to create a small message. A couple of shots of our little decoration for this year’s Diwali…

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous Deepavali!

Categories
Hobbies

Happy Deepavali!


Diya Painting
Happy Deepavali!

Today, on the festive occasion of Diwali, I painted this little Diya…

Here’s hoping every home has a lamp, and a bright future.
Wishing everyone a very happy, cracker-free and safe Diwali!