All jobs these days come with their own toolkit. Why? even new joiners get a joining kit that makes things easy and fun for them as they start their work. Isn’t it time we look at our lives and make it easy with one such?
Belagavi is fortunate to have followed all traditions and customs with gusto, preserving our rich heritage. Our parents, grandparents, aunts and neighbors help us in knowing and following our rich customs. They knew that festivals and traditions bring people closer, spread joy and enable us to strengthen as a society. But several people are clueless about how to go about celebrating Diwali, apart from the traditional delicacies.
So here’s a primary toolkit for our very own Diwali. Yes, it may not be comprehensive, but it will definitely make your Diwali all the more meaningful.
1. Lights and Lanterns – Diwali is all about Lights. Don’t sit at home, come out and head towards Maruti Galli and grab your favourite earthen lamps, lamp holders, tea lights, Akash Kandil and more. A small lamp and lantern at your door have the strength to brighten the whole house.
2. String lights – Bapat Galli, Kadolkar Galli, Maruti Galli and elsewhere you will find starry strings of lights. Pick some bright sparkling ones in an assortment of colors and deck up your living room and outdoors for the perfect Diwali- wali feel
3. Faraal – What is Diwali without Chakli, Chivda, Chirote, Karanji, Laddu, Shankarpali, Shev, Farsan and more? If you like DIY, you get pre-mixes at stores. Just mix and fry. If you can’t, book your stock in advance. Not all makers make them in large quantities. Check online for recommendations and feel free to try new recipes.
4. Utane, Moti soap – Diwali mornings are made all the more special with a customary Ararti with scented oils and a bath with Moti soap and fragrant powder (Utane). Let the kids know why this Abhyangsnan (whole body deep tissue massage and bath) is so important – the oils penetrate deep in your skin in the winter months and the Utane helps scrub and cleanses the skin.
5. The karante fruit (Cucumis melo var. agrestis) and its vine – a type of musk melon that grows on vines during this season. It is crushed under the feet by the family elders, signifying the destruction of evil forces in our lives. In the evening on Dhanteras, the vine is tied to pots and pitchers filled with water along with a small puja, signifying the importance of water in our lives.
6. Pooja thali – decorate your thali, whether it’s silver, copper, or brass and perform Arati with bright lamps, some kumkum and akshata. Diwali arati is performed several times across the three days- early morning of the first day before Abhyangsnan, at the evening of Laxmi Pooja, on Padava when the wife does it for the husband and then on Bhaubeej when the sister does it for the brother(s). So keep your wicks dipped in ghee ready for the auspicious Arati.
7. Churmure- Battase – you may decide to offer any amount of sweets and treats to your guests for Laxmi Pooja, but the real fun is in Churmure Battase (sugar coins)
8. Crackers – not the loud ones, but the small button size ‘kepa’ by using special ‘guns’. Celebrate at night using Lightworks that light up the sky and add to the joys.
9. Gifts – anything that the receiver feels happy to get. It need not be expensive for sure. A book, a dress, or even a box of sweets brings a smile to the face. Add a personal note about how that person means to you and wish them personally
10. Personal messages – avoid forwards and reposts. Why can’t you write a small Diwali wish to your friends and loved ones? Click a nice picture and add some captions to make your own e-greeting.
11. Killa – you don’t need to be a child to experience the joys of making a Diwali Fort. Gather your kids, their friends and neighborhood children, get some mud and plan your architectural marvel that any king would envy. Decorate with soldiers, planes, animals and moats, make a lake, light up with fairy lights and voila, your Diwali Killa is ready. Now take chalk and go on marking the directions to your ‘Killa’ on the road so that more people know about it. That’s what we did when there was no marketing budget!
And finally, take tons of pictures and share them with everyone to immortalize your memories.