Happy Diwali!

happy-diwali-wallpapersToday is Deepavali (as it’s called in South India) or Diwali (as it’s called in the north). Since in Mumbai, people generally refer to it as Diwali, that’s what we call it and will continue to call it irrespective of whether I am referring to it being celebrated in the north or south.

diwali20day20220narakchaturdashiIn the southern part of India, Diwali is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and is called Naraka Chaturdasi. If the day falls on the new moon day or Amavasya, then you have to wake up very early and take a bath before daylight breaks. A special oil is made the previous night with herbs and spices and this is supposed to ward off the effects of winter. This oil is applied by the oldest woman in the family who is available and is done in front of the family altar. Once you bathe and get ready, you pray to the Lord and then to the elders in the family. You then eat the medicinal preparation made which prepares your stomach for the onslaught of food. Then it’s time to feast the yummy goodies you’ve slaved away at. Children and adults also light firecrackers in the early morning dawn to frighten the demons. Here in Singapore, firecrackers, especially the loud ones which make noise are banned, so we used to buy sparklers for the children when they were younger. Now that they are older, we stop at the goodie eating and visiting the temple.

84036831b90e9842d4a2ed732d309341In North India, the day after Naraka Chaturdasi is usually celebrated as Diwali and is the day when Lord Rama reached Ayodhya after fulfiling the promise he made  to  his stepmother Keykeyi about going on a 14-year exile and in the process, killing the demon king Ravana in what is now present-day Sri Lanka which is celebrated as the festival of Dushhera. On that day, people decorate their homes with diyas and candles just like how the kingdom of Ayodhya had been decorated to welcome their beloved Lord Rama. People perform Laxmi Puja for wealth and also worship Goddess Saraswati for wisdom. Some Indian communities also celebrate their new year during this period and so there’s an additional celebration aspect during the three-four day long festivities.

goddess-laxmiSome of the other legends from Indian mythology which are associated with this festival  include:

  • During the divine churning of the ocean, Goddess Lakshmi was incarnated on this day.
  • In his fifth incarnation of Vaman, Lord Vishnu rescued Goddess Lakshmi from the clutches of King Bali, and this is another reason for celebrating Diwali.
  • Another legend related in the Mahabharat has it that the Pandavas returned from their 12 years of exile on this day.
  • It is also said that King Vikramaditya was coronated on this day, and Diwali festival is celebrated on this day which also gives it a historical significance.

Here’s wishing everyone who celebrates this festival a very Happy Diwali! To those who are also celebrating your new year, Saal Mubarak to you!

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In My Hands Today…

The Favorites – Mary Yukari Waters

6186163Fourteen-year-old Sarah Rexford, half-Japanese and half- American, feels like an outsider when she visits her family in Japan. She quickly learns that in traditional Kyoto, personal boundaries are firmly drawn and actions are not always what they appear.

In the midst of her acculturation, Sarah learns of a family secret. During World War II, her grandmother was forced to give up one of her daughters for adoption. The child was adopted by the grandmother’s sister-in-law, and the siblings were brought up as cousins, growing up on the same lane where both the biological and adoptive mother lived. Even into the present, the arrangement is never discussed. But as Sarah learns, its presence looms over the two houses. In this carefully articulated world, where every gesture and look has meaning, Sarah must learn the rules by which her mother, aunts, and grandmother live.

2017 Week 40 Update

Another boring week, but with Diwali coming up, I was kept busy prepping for the festival. We made some savouries and sweets and there’s a bit more to do which I will complete today.

I met a recruitment consultant earlier in the week and even though it was not very promising, I am hopeful that something may come up from that meeting.

To all those who are celebrating the festival of lights, here’s wishing you a Happy Diwali!

 

2017 Secondary 2 Week 40 Update

Exams finished for GG also this week and we’ll start seeing her results from Monday. BB also started getting back his test marks this week and he has done worse than expected. I am so very disappointed with his results and it’s looking increasingly difficult that he may get his choice of subjects for next year! I am so very disappointed with him.

GG, on the other hand, has matured beautifully! She is so conscious of what she wants to do and goes about it with determination and dedication.

It’s the Indian festival of Diwali next week and the children are all set to enjoy it.

That’s about it from our side in terms of what happened in school this week. Have a blessed Sunday!

 

 

In My Hands Today…

False Flag – Jay Tinsiano

25592135Frank Bowen decides to change his life and travel to Goa where he meets the seemingly friendly Theo and the woman of his dreams, Maria.

In Bangkok, he is pointed in the direction of Theo’s friend – Richard – an English ex-pat with dubious connections and knowledge of the seedier side of the city. Richard gains his trust and Frank decides to take up a proposition—to take part in an anti-terrorist drill in Hong Kong.

That drill soon turns into a nightmare.