Early morning, explosions outside my window rouse me from sleep, sending me diving under my bed for cover. It takes a few moments to realise that no, we haven’t been invaded. It’s simply that the first herald of the Festival of Lights is a cacophony of sound – from rows and rows of exploding rassi bombs.
It’s believed that switching on all the house’s lights after the evening pooja invites the goddess Lakshmi (and prosperity) home. But, with millions of families doing so, wouldn’t the goddess get slightly lost…?
Imagine a typical conversation.
Lakshmi: Um…Is this Ajay’s home?
Rajesh: No, no, but that’s alright, you’re more than welcome, O Goddess of Light.
Lakshmi (slightly worried): But I have a schedule to keep.
Rajesh: Schedule, schedule! Have some chai, O Divine One.
Lakshmi: No, no, I shouldn’t be here…
Rajesh: But anyway you were coming here na, O Goddess of Prosperity?
Lakshmi: Ummm…actually...I wasn’t…See, your boss is sacking you this Monday.
You are, however, more likely to be blinded by the lights shining on ultra-bling socialites’ newest ultra-bling dresses than by the lights shining in homes.
Another custom of Diwali is gambling. It seems that the Goddess Parvati enjoyed a dice game with her husband Lord Shiva so much, that she blessed those who gamble on Diwali night with prosperity all year long.
So let’s get this straight.
To be prosperous – i.e. make lots of money – all year round, I need to gamble last year’s hard-earned money away?
Chuck it. I’m Sindhi. I’m sticking with FDs.
Everyone paints Rangolis outside their doors every year – birds, flowers, dancers, Ashoka chakras, etc. People! Times have changed. Let’s move on. Here are some contemporary Rangoli themes:
- Ganguly’s dropping.
- Fuel prices.
- Our newfound love for the US of A.
- Dance bars and bar girls.
- The Nano.
- Kissa kursi ka.
- And Mumbaikars, please don’t forget to write something in Marathi on your rangoli.