The current times are surely testing times for the whole of mankind.The ongoing menace of the pandemic, the unexpected demise of near and dear ones, the helpless cry for help, the inadequate medical amenities for fulfuling the sudden surge of patients , the complications of understanding the symptoms of this new disease which continues till date has made it very difficult for a lot of us to even smile, forget about experiencing happiness. The grief of losing someone is something that can never be described, nor can there be anytime prescribed to forget the loss. Most of the times, we have to live with the void created in our lives and sometimes it lasts forever! And you tend to miss them in good times the most because probably seeing a smile on your loved one’s face is what gives this heart all the solace it needs. Festivals, being an integral part of life help in bringing us all a little closer as it is these little pauses, that give us time in our busy lives to halt, look around and embrace our closed ones and pray for every one’s well being. And on such ocasions, we tend to miss people who are close to our hearts the most. And certainly, surving a loss of a dear one can be very challenging during festivities. My heart goes out to each one of you going through this turmoil .
Diwali, the festival of light has been one of my very favourite festivals since childhood. When I was a child, bursting of crackers gave me a high. Unlike girls who fear lighting rockets or bombs , I loved bursting them. But with time, as I grew up, a lot in me changed I guess. More than anything, I fell in love with the scenic beauty of little diyas . The flickering flames in the moonless night, gave my heart immense joy. When there is little wind and the diya struggles to keep the flame going, I would run towards it and cover it with my palm and quickly the flame would again become strong! That very moment gave me happiness which is probably difficult to explain. With a smile, I would feel a little victorious of having saved the light which even if tiny, defeats the over empowering darkness that lurks around.
There has been a lot of article regarding Diwali and its significance . In Eastern India, It is Kali Puja that coincides with Diwali and is a very important festival in this part of the country. In normal times, there would be laughter , cheer and merry making. But a lot has metamorphosed in this phase of difficulties that we all are going through. Yesterday, in office, I got a news that someone died due to post covid related complications. He was not related to me in any manner but he had been a regular face in the office and I have had many interactions with him. I remeber his smiling face because that is what was known for. He was probably in his early fities and had just married off his daughter. His son is still studying engineering .After about two days of experiencing immense pain while breathing he succumbed to this deadly disease. So what would Diwali mean to that family today? Nothing!! It would rather feel as if God has been mocking around when their family has gone into darkness. The same is the case with numerous families dealing with such personal loss.
But is it not the same with us when we experience any loss or failure. The whole world seems meaningless. However, we have two options, either to blame the situation and sulk or to accept the reality and be grateful for the remaining positivity around. And I agree, accepting is probably the most difficult phase of grieving and surving it. Once you accept , you can find ways to deal with it. But this stage of reaching acceptance can take years for many and of course they are not wrong. The intensity of pain , the threshhold to bear it is different for every individual. Still, people judge ; people taunt; people blame; people pass sarcastic remarks. After all, people are of all kind and even if we claim to be the most intelligent species, it is only we who are our biggest enemies! Probably, these festivals help us in introspecting and killing the demon ( be it ego, anger, greed, jeaolousy etc ) that lives within each of us. And simultaneaously rekindle the flame of righteousness that is inherent in every soul.
As we usher into this festive season, let us be grateful for who we have beside us , let’s be thankful for surviving our individual battles that we have won so far, let’s be forgving towards minor issues that our loved ones do and unknowingly hurt us. Having said this, let’s also pray to the Almighty to give us the robustness, the toughness to deal with anything that tries to belittle us or weaken us . Let us rekindle the fire of passion, newness, goodness, compassion, virtuousness and resilience to rise above any kind of pettiness . May there be light, love and healing in all our lives. May we outshine the darkness within us and most importantly let us pray to have well wishers who stand with us and protect us in times of need just like we put our palms against strong wind to protect the flame of a diya.
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very festive occasion of light , shine & sparkle!