Friday, April 12, 2013

American Desi Girl - Chapter 2 Zaree Waale Neele Aasmaan ke Tale

♫ Zaree Waale Neele Aasmaan ke Tale ♫

Diwali was here finally. All the guests had arrived. Ever body was dressed to the nines. Brocade and gold and silver were everywhere as were saffron and sugar and cloves. The old silk road and the spice route might just have stopped by the household to deliver a special caravan of goodies just for this night. Puja was followed by the usual scramble for fireworks the children had waited for since the fourth of July. The yard had been duly swept and watered to guard against fires, the patio not quite big enough to hold twenty children.
After an evening of celebrating one by one all the cousins and friends and neighbors had left. The family sat down for a breather before they put the leftovers away and went to sleep. The LP could not resist counting the leftover sparklers. She had hoped to have plenty. Now all that mattered was whether two boxes of sparklers were plenty or not. Mama asked her to pick up all the empty boxes and wrappers and put them in the trash. As she looked at each box she remarked, “Made in China, made in China, made in China…”. The table mats she rolled up to put away were also made in China, all ten of them, and she said that ten times again, and added “Man, everything we have was made in China. Mama, were you made in China too?”
Mama was most amused. “If you asked another five people at random that same question you’d get a yes for sure.” “Fireworks were invented in China, weren’t they? So you got the silver payals for Diwali just as you had wanted. What do you suppose Santa Claus is getting you this year since you already got the number one thing on your wish list?” asked Papa.“I don’t know. I’ll tell Santa what I want. And don’t ask me to ask for just one thing. Santa can get me more than just one thing. You don’t have to spend any money you know. And did you know, Abby gets presents eight days straight for Hanukkah? And Zeenath got money for Eid. Malathi got eight new dolls for Golu. Why do I get just one thing for Diwali and just one thing for Christmas?”“Festivals are not about presents,” said Mama.“O-kay,” said the little lawyer.”“They are celebrations of things that are good and worth remembering. They are a reminder of some landmark in time, like the end of harvest, or the onset of spring, or the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after defeating Raavan, or the birth of a messiah, or the triumph of courage over oppression, or the first day of a new year. Think of what each festival means to you.”“What does Diwali mean?”“The word ‘diwali’ means ‘a row of lamps’ or ‘festival of lights’. It represents the victory of good over evil or light over darkness.”“Then why do people light candles for Hanukkah and Christmas if Diwali is the festival of lights?”“Every culture has its own festival of lights, representing the same old story of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, celebrating the light within, call it courage or idealism. People are similar in that way no matter what they name their religion. Every one of us under this big blue sky needs a reminder that good vanquishes evil or it’s pretty darned difficult to stay alive.”
Allusions: ♫ Zaree …tale ♫ — song from “Slumdog Millionaire”

diwali sweets via pinterest

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