Where are you this Deepawali?

#1 Nov 13th, 2012, 00:49
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
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A very happy Diwali to all my fellow IMers.

The festival started yesterday and am sure most of you would be out there, in the midst of tremendous activity. Across India, the festival is celebrated with great fanfare and I'm positive that quite a few customs would be similar if not the same. In Jaipur too, we celebrated Deepawali or Diwali with a heady mix of sweets, lights all around, fireworks, visits from friends and relatives and what not. Yet, there're a few traditions that survive, a collective spirit that has survived the onslaught of modernization and that's why I miss the Deepawalis I celebrated in Jaipur.

Today, on choti Diwali (or the smaller Diwali – the day before), sitting here in Delhi I'm typing this out principally because I miss my hometown's Diwali (we couldn’t travel this year due to unforeseen circumstances).

On Dhanteras day (the thirteenth day, two days before diwali day), it is considered auspicious to buy metal objects, people throng the markets to buy utensils, jewelry and even TVs and cars! Jewelers outdo each other when it comes to decorating their establishments. The more established ones do not allow photography of their premises so I had to look for alternates and I had captured this on the corner of Chaura Rasta and Tripolia Bazaar.

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Last minute Deepawali shopping includes Diyas (earthen ware lamps) that are lit on the evening of the big day. Here’s one of the more traditional shops located inside the walled city. We usually bought them a day in advance so that they could be soaked well in water and dried out (it helps reduce absorption of oil)

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Diwali is the day for worshipping Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) – she is given various offerings including sugarcane. Here we see fresh stems just off a tractor (this was also in Gangauri Bazaar inside the city).

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The evening of Diwali is truly magical. Everyone makes a bit of effort to light up where they are with what they have. The government does its bit too by lighting up the major monuments. Some of them are under the care of the Sawai Jaisingh Benevolent Trust (i.e. the Royal family). Some are maintained by the Arachaeology department. Seen below is Jalmahal, as old as Jaipur and lit up with simple yellow lights that make it stand out like an apparition in the middle of the blackness of the waters of the mansagar lake.

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Inside the walled city, Jaipur’s Icon, the Hawa Mahal bears a completely different look from its mundane avatar. Today, devoid of the myriad sellers that line up at its bottom on any given day, one can walk unhindered and go up close to realize that the windows are beautifully tinted – almost all the colors of the rainbow can be seen in the windows of Hawa-mahal.

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The modern city is lit up too – on MI Road – named after Sir Mirza Ismail (the dewan of Mysore state who was appointed as the premier of Jaipur state by Sawai Mansingh the second and is credited with building up modern Jaipur) is lit up collectively by traders. Seen here is Panchbatti (or five lights) crossroads.

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Farther south, a modern landmark created by the Birla clan – the Lakshminarayan temple, more popularly known as the Birla temple – gets lined with simple yellow bulbs. The silhouette created by the lights against the white marble is lovely.

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The traders’ associations have competitions for the individual enterprises to produce gates and sometimes a decorative cut out. Many choose western themes such as the Eiffel Tower replica or the leaning tower of Pisa. Some take this competition a bit too seriously. Seen below is a photo of the president of the United States on top of a missile replica. The caption reads ‘ I, Barack Obama, devotee of Hanuman, striving for world peace’. Bet the secret service doesn’t know ….

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The evenings at home are never complete without a bit of fireworks. As the mass produced variety from Sivakasi took over even during the years when I was growing up, the charm of the traditional earthenware ‘anar’ made by the hereditary artisans is not lost on the onlookers. These traditional firework makers, almost all of whom are muslims, are known as ‘shorgars’ and they make some very unique pieces. They also can and still do organize firework displays on other occasions such as weddings and processions. Seen below is a traditional anar lit up.

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It is considered auspicious if the diyas stay lit overnight and hence sometimes we light larger ones Seen below is a five-pronged diya lighting up a dim corner, as we hoped it would survive the night.

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I end this post by wishing a happy diwali to everyone and a prosperous year ahead.

p.s. I’d like to request of other IMers if they can post photos of something beautiful from their hometowns of Diwali celebrations of yesteryears or current to keep this thread going, that’d be nice ….
#2 Nov 13th, 2012, 00:54
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  • nycank is offline
#2
A visual delight.
#3 Nov 13th, 2012, 03:41
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#3
Wonderful photos Vaibhav.
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#4 Nov 13th, 2012, 09:23
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  • vaibhav_arora is offline
#4
Thanks everyone!! I'm hoping others can add to this thread with photos of the celebrations in their part of the country and we can have one big virtual celebration right here ...
#5 Nov 13th, 2012, 13:29
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#5
This one is from my roof in Kolkata, crackers producing sounds above 120 decibles are banned here!
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#6 Nov 13th, 2012, 15:49
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#6
Happy Diwali to all IMers.

Nice pictures Vaibhav, though feeling sad that you missing your hometown celebration.

"Dhanteras'- you know Vaibhav, this was nothing related to the culture and tradition of Bengalis but now-a-days, like Valentine's Day, Kolkatans accepted this occasion as a must observed one here.

Here are my crackers getting sun-bath to sprinkle brightly at night.

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aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#7 Nov 13th, 2012, 17:04
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#7
@ Duronto Jajabar

Those are huge ammunitions Happy deepawali to all.....have a great time.
Last edited by wanderlust 1974; Nov 13th, 2012 at 21:41..
#8 Nov 13th, 2012, 20:32
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#8
Excellent thread and fantastic photos, Vaibhav.
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#9 Nov 13th, 2012, 20:57
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My home:
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Supernova:
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#10 Nov 13th, 2012, 21:30
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#10
Lovely photos Wanderlust and Duronto.

Hope others jump in too!!
#11 Nov 13th, 2012, 21:31
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#11
Excellent Pics Vaibhav !

Happy Diwali to all !!
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#12 Nov 13th, 2012, 22:26
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#12
I am at my hometown in Uttarakhand, reasonably away from loud noise and smog.

I am more than happy that poor souls (read birds and animals) in my locality are not drowning deep in gravy (read air and noise pollution)

Happy Diwali to All IMers

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#13 Nov 13th, 2012, 23:06
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#13
Happy Diwali to all fellow IM'ers and theirs...

We are far away from home in the US and it's quiet here.. *Local temple celebrations for Diwali are next weekend.. *So folks from neighboring states can also join in the celebrations.... *



Had some snow and heavy wind so couldn't light diya's outside.. But try to make a Rangoli or kolam and light diya's and some eats and treats... So the kids can get a taste of the celebrations..

mom
#14 Nov 14th, 2012, 17:29
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  • naveenamohanrao is offline
#14
Vaibhav, Wish you a very happy Diwali & don't worry, even I could not make it to Bangalore however much I wished to be there to attend at least half a dozen weddings, naming ceremonies, Ghruhapraveshas (house warming), and many other functions.

Nevertheless enjoyed the festive look that the Mumbai streets wore since some days ago!

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Nobody at home bursts crackers anymore, so did with some candles here and there - yesterday evening.

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#15 Nov 14th, 2012, 21:19
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#15
Another one from my balcony:

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