As the world of Facebook and Twitter light up with Diwali messages from Indians all over the world – you may or may not be familiar with what Diwali is depending on your heritage. Diwali is the Indian festival of lights and it signifies the triumph of good over evil. It’s a festival that is celebrated throughout India and has a huge significance with the Indians worldwide. Diyas(earthen clap lamps) are lit up, prayers to the Goddess of wealth(Lakshmi ji) are performed and then people go visit their friends and family distributing (mithai)sweets. The sounds of fireworks fill up the ears for hours on end.
I always sit down every year and wonder what I am gonna write in our yearly family message wishing all our friends a happy Diwali. Every year I hope to not only send a message to our friends but also use it as a reminder on how to live my life in the coming year. I send the messages to all my Indian and non-Indian friends including all the teachers that have been a part of my kid’s life so far. My non-Indian friends are always surprised by the messages at first but they graciously wish my family a very happy Diwali too. Over the years they have accepted and respected my culture and shown so much love. As soon as I start sending my messages, I start getting responses back. I received an email from a non-Indian friend of mine today and she reminded me of the time she was in India and these were her amazing words ” I remember my time fondly in India when the buses were crazy packed, everyone was dressed to the nines, and you could feel the excitement in the air. Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful memory! I hope you all have a beautiful celebration and a great year ahead!”. Reading her words not only reminded me of the last time I experienced Diwali in India but also brought tears to my eyes. The last Diwali in India for me was at the age of 8. The sounds of fireworks and the excitement that resided in the air are still fresh in my mind. Memories of doing Diwali pooja(prayer) with my mom, dad & brother, getting all dolled up in my Indian clothes. …aah all the memories come rushing back. I would love to go back to India with my kids one day soon and celebrate Diwali and have them also experience the energy that flows thru India during this festive Diwali season.
I never grew up doing rangoli(art typically done during Diwali with colored sand)at home but it’s a ritual that I adopted after we first did it at a friend’s house several years ago. My hubby and I have had our own rituals that we have come up for Diwali and doing rangoli is a big part now. We wait for hubby to come home- have a quick dinner, get Itunes rolling, and head on out to our front patio. Our house artist (the hubby) draws the patterns freehand and the three of us get busy picking colors and filling the lines with colorful sand. Neighbors out for their evening walk on a beautiful AZ evening will always stop by and say ” Is it that time of the year already!! “. We have a few bickers and laughs along the way but all in all an evening of fun. 🙂
This year has been a year of giving back for us not only the charity in Africa but also working with NCL(a mother-daughter charity league) that my daughter and I are so honored to be a part of. So the theme this year was to give back and using a quote from my daughter’s poem that was part of the msg this year: “Were we supposed to share…
And treat this world with care……. Or were we supposed to make a foe …..Of the only home, we know”
So go ahead and light up your hearts this Diwali and Remember we all have something to give..Here’s wishing a beautiful and peaceful Diwali from our family to yours and hoping that the coming year is filled with Lots of Peace, happiness & love…
Luv & Huggs
Sharing Kalra Diwali reminders of years past(if you are interested in reading and not fallen asleep yet 🙂 :
2014- Another year has come and flown by and yet again we catch ourselves saying “Wow is it Diwali already”! For my non Indian friends who want to know a little more about Diwali – Here is a blog post of mine from 2011 that I wanna share with you: Light Up Your Hearts This DiwaliAs you light up Diyas(candles) this Diwali season, remember every diya is symbolic of the beautiful light that resides within each and everyone of us. With each diya you light, you awaken the qualities that may lie dormant within you – be it wisdom, faith, service, knowledge, kindness, love…. Spread the light and love that shines within each and every one of us. Be the rainbow that adds a spectrum of colors to the sky and the lives around you, no matter what your age. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be just one person’s rainbow everyday that shines thru the clouds and rain and manages to bring a Smile to their face! So here’s wishing another year of Smiles from our family to yours filled with lots of Love, Happiness & most of all Peace!!
2013 – It’s that time of the year to get a Deep Diwali message from Kalra’s(okay..just Ruchi) ..LOL! You probably wonder why I just can’t send a picture of a diya and be done..:) I always use this Diwali time to self reflect and so what better than to share that message with my family and friends as well. So here it goes…..Life is constantly changing around us and as you go about this busy holiday season of Diwali and Thanksgiving spending time with your loved ones sharing food, gifts, flowers..remember to spend a few moments soaking in the peace and quietness. This beautiful celebration of Diwali symbolizes the renewal of life, hope and peace that is so needed in our world today. Give thanx not only to the people in your life that enlighten you, guide you, make you smile on the inside and bring joy and light into your life but also the ones that may not be as blessed as you are. Open your heart to people, cultures, experiences and moments that make you grow. Spread the joy forward..Maybe buy a coffee for someone in line behind you, open the door for someone that has their hands full or as simple as smile at a stranger…Make the invisible people around you visible. Lovely quote by Carlos Santana “The most important possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace”
2012 – Our world is changing around us faster than we can imagine. In this modern world, its these traditions and cultures that bind us and remind us to stop and think what they really mean. Diwali, the Indian festival of lights signifies the end of the darkness of ignorance and the beginning of light that enlightens all. Let’s all take a moment to stop, think and appreciate all that we have been given in this life. Let’s count our blessings for each day that we have and remember to walk through life knowing we have something new to learn and.. we will. We all have something to give each and every day to the people and the planet that we live in. ~~You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give~~Kahlil Gibran.
2011 – Every year we wonder where the year went and this year is no different. Diwali, the Indian festival of lights is more than just the lighting of Diya’s(candles)and dressing up..it’s also a time to reflect on who we are and where we are headed. Let’s all remember to count our blessings and give back to others that are part of this amazing lil world of ours and may not have been as fortunate us. Remember we all have something to give
2010 – On this beautiful Diwali..Let’s plan to celebrate with lights on the inside just like we do with lights on the outside..and focus on peace and happiness within and all that we have been blessed with. Let’s love thy neighbor and not only today but throughout the year irrespective of our race, religion, faith, caste, creed or any kind of division.
2009- Rangoli color is just a plain simple color. It’s true beauty is derived when added, blended and mixed with other colors to create beautiful and amazing works of art. Let’s take this moment and remember that each and every person in our life is like a rangoli color. They make our life interesting, exciting and most of all beautiful…
2008– As another year rolls on by, lets all remember not to spend our time looking back at things and wondering what could have been and what we wished it was. We only get to live this life once and nobody gets to live it backwards…so lets look ahead and make the most of the moments that are happening around us now and the people who are there with us.
2007 – We all have moments n our lives and how we interpret them and what we make of them is up to us. So here’s to making the coming year a beautiful and peaceful one. A famous quote to keep in mind as we thru the year: “We are what we think we are. All that we are..arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world”
2006– We all know time flies when things are going well, but the same can drag when things are not going well, Let’s all appreciate the good times, things and people we have in our lives and mke the most of the moments we have with them. Quote by Winston Churchill: Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living not by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
2005 – Every year we are amazed at how quickly time flies by! We need to learn to make the most of every moment that we have, with the people that we have in our lives…It is on occasions like these, we should reflect on them and let them know..how much they enrich our lives..Have a great year, and may all your dreams come true!“When There is Love There is Life – Mahatma Gandhi
You took me to a bright world that is filled with all shining lights. It took me away from this tensed world bringing out immense joy in me. Thank you for writing this. Happy Diwali once again! 🙂
Thanks for including my artwork in your awesome blog!! Diwali, sure is my most memorable festival and I soo sooo miss the celebrations here. Kudos to you for keeping the spirit of Diwali alive in your home!