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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some thoughts on Vijayadasami and Deepawali

       India is a great country and Hinduism is a great way of life. Dassehra is celebrated all over the country, yet an outsider, or for that matter even an Indian, can never relate the celebrations in one part of the country to those in another part. All gods and goddesses are propitiated in some form or the other in some part of the country, unlike Ramnavami, Krishna jayanti or Ganesh chathurti where the entire scene is hogged by  one god. If Ramlila is the main event in one part it is Durga pooja in the other.

It is Dandia in the west, Ramlila in the cow belt, Durga pooja in the east and Navaratri Golu in the South.

       In most parts it is a closed holiday while the kids in Chennai start their schooling on this auspicious day. I still remember trudging along with my father, to the school with a slate and a slate pencil, as a four year old. It was on a Vijayadasami day, the headmaster registered my age as 5 and admitted me in Class 1.

   While I was thinking aloud , trying to understand the diferences, a north Indian friend of mine said, "forget it ya, just enjoy the celebrations! it's all the same" ; I could ony mumble to myself , "There has got to be some differnce between 'burning' and 'learning'!"

Coming to  Deepawali, how can the southies celebrate homecoming of Ram to Ayodhya ? So it is Krishna's day to mark   Narakasura Samharam. All I can recall from my childhood memories on Deepawali is lots of sweets, new clothes (those days, new clothes were bought only on important occasions and Deepawali was the most important occasion) crackers and then came some great reading!!! 

Every Tamil magazine, vied with one another to bring out the best annual number. Every writer considered it his privillege to get his story/article published in a popular magazine's Deepawali Issue. The photos and paintings in Kalki were designed to be cut and framed for posterity. Till today, these issues are quite popular.

Some of the lesser known aspects of Vijayadasami and Deepawali

Where I live today, Deepwali, means, besides sweets , crackers and lights, Lakshmi pooja, amassing of wealth, mahurat trading and ritualistic gambling !! One festival, many flavours; but it is first or the original flavour that persistently  lingers on.

I sign off , wishing Happy Deepawali to everybody ! Vishv ka kalyaan ho !


Sh... said...

You said it right "The first flavour that persists". Belated Deepavali wishes Sir.

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