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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meaning of Spreading Light !!!

So Diwali is over and I spent it cribbing and complaining about how much I was missing home and all the festive fever in India.  Well I have been brought up in a very strict Hindu culture, if any of you know what I mean when I say a typical Nair family.  My grandmom used to not eat from the same plate that a person of another caste did and we had separate glasses and plates for the maids.  (now you know what I mean).  So all the festivals and rituals are sacred in our family.  I liked to think of Diwali  as a  fun time.  Dad getting sweets from his work place and shopping for the season.  I was always scared of crackers as a child and my growing years it became a nuisance early in the morning and late in the night.  But yesterday here in Stockholm I missed all that thoroughly.  The lights outside each house and those big paper lights (kandils), and neighbors exchanging sweets and many more such things.

As I said it was all about having a gala time as a child.  When I started working it was more about the holidays that I got from my work.  I could stay back home because it was impossible to go out in the crowd.  Every street is crowded with heavy pocket people spending and some others who are determined to loosen these pockets (directly or indirectly).  Diwali is about spreading lights my teachers in school used to say.  A fellow blogger Pooja Sridhar today tweeted that it made her sad to see poor kids come home to ask for left over food after Diwali.  Guess it would make any sensible person sad.  Imagine just the night before thousands have been blown up and in the morning you see these kids waiting at your door steps in the hope of getting something you might not have used.  People take the words--Spreading Light, literally, like literally lighting of candles and diyas.  I really wish they knew it would mean more to light some lives instead of just lighting up the houses. How about spreading some lights in the lives of such kids, instead of spending so much money on crackers and sweets that in the end get rotten.  

To me it just becomes a selfish celebration then.  I have seen a tradition wherein after someone dies, on their death anniversary or as a part of the cremation rituals poor people are fed with food.  Why do we have to wait for someone to die to do all this yaar?  Life is so precious why can all this not be done when you are alive.  Why not just reduce your shopping expense on these extravagant celebrations and make a difference to someone's life ?  Dropping coins in the boxes kept outside temple is anything but charity.  No seriously, have you ever thought what happens to that money.  I don't know if that is really accounted for, at the same time I also know of charitable institutions who take their responsibility seriously.  I can totally understand when someone says that they do not believe giving donations and making charity to these institutions, but then how about doing it yourself.  Don't do charity, be the change in someone's life.  And changing a needy person's life just takes few of your changes.  It does not take much to adopt a poor family and help them with their needs.  Their needs are really small, and since you are doing it directly you can also see if your help is reaping benefits for them.  In the whole year what you spend lavishly in the name of traditions and cultures can be reduced or cut short and put away to support your adopted family.  That my friends I would call ---- Spreading Light !!!


  1. Suku...are you and Pooja on twitter? Why do I not know of that:-@

    I read someone's post today about Diwali and how it is loosing meaning,the poor etc...its harsh man. I am on hating god spree...totally....

    And why do I not have your email id? Email me no...please....


  2. thats because I wasnt tat active on twitter.. but now i guess I have started liking it :) :)... @SuKusaysthat my twitter id...Pooja-s upar post mein mention kiya tha link..
    and email id is sunita_kurup0703@yahoo.co.in

    About diwali, I am so sure God has nothing to do with it.. even He must be confused at the people are behaving in His name :D :D

    love, kisses & hugs (X 2) :D :D :D

  3. I'm 100% with you on this post, I find the vulgar display of wealth that I see lately on festivals in India, really disturbing, people don't think twice before spending Rs 5000/- on a 10,000 ladi of crackers, but don't give Rs 100/- worth food to the poor kids, it's really heart breaking, no where in the world are the differences between rich and poor so blatantly evident as in India...

  4. well, it does sound sad n touchy when we talk about all these people who don't even have the basic needs of life but in this materialistic age when we are into "blind race of life" perhaps no one has the time to think about them.....

    A thought provoking post.....

  5. And I had written on y i hate festivals!!!! Liked ur post..hihihi...n seriously people here don't even know exactly WHY diwali is celebrated! Howwzat!?

  6. What a lovely thought for Diwali! 'Don't do charity, be the change in someone's life.'Liked it immensely

  7. yes it happens a lot. the kids come for food or even crackers. its sad & hurts

    the money in the temples hardly reaches the needy. NGOs if carefully identified are a better option & better still if we are the change agents directly.
    good post Sunita

    incidentally exactly a year back (30 Oct 2010) i had penned some thoughts on these lines

  8. We are too busy thinking how we can gift ourselves happiness to see that light is not necessarily literally that.
    And the second part of the post made total sense since it was Grandpa's aandu on Diwali and Grandma was getting high on feeding a crow. A crow, mind you.

  9. @ Anjali: Vulgar display of wealth absolutely true..

    @ Irfan: Yes we are so into the race that there is just no time to even stop for a while and reflect...

    @ Mads: thats the reality of our society more than half of them have no idea what they are doing!!!

    @ Rahul: thx :)

    @ SuJu: thx :) off to read that post
    hey i had also got one more message from you dunno where it disappeared O_O

    @ Pee Vee: Precisely !! the Crow tell me about it (phew)

  10. one more? nai toh.
    had commented on Jobby Job if thats what you mean

  11. nahi not that one.. the one where you asked me which state I belonged to...woh wala

  12. Nice post! Thoughtful and genuine. And my grand mom was same as yours. :)

  13. hey that i asked you on your yahoo mail dear ms. bhulakkad!! itna lamba mail i wrote to you & didn't get a reply & i was beginning to think did i offend her or what!

  14. @ Harsha: lol.. thx for stopping by :) :)

    @ SuJu: aiyo sorry sorry.. i must have thought it was a comment notification in my email and deleted it.. now i dont have ur id to reply can u please send ur id..

  15. Spending on festivals are more understandable than spending on the Gods. I mean, just putting some money in the kanikka is not gonna give u what you ask for .. Another one is spending on weddings. Wonder who came up with that one !

    Nice Blog you have got here !

  16. Indians can shell any amount of money in the name of religion without even thinking whether it was used for any good deed or not. Great thoughts and those who are privileged must help those who are in need. Thought provoking post!

  17. @ Vinod: Oh ya the wedding expenses tell me about it..the money spent on mine would have helped atleast 5 kids to graduate.. but is anyone listening .. who cares..
    Welcome to SuKupedia :) hope to see u often

    @ Saru: absolutely Saru.. some senseless people can even decorate a donkey with gold if they are told they will go to heaven...but will shun away a poor kid asking for some food ... that is the sad state religion has driven us into...

  18. How did I miss out on this post I don't know. But, yes, it is a sad state of affairs. The whole idea of festivals seems to have changed now. It mostly seems as a means of showing off wealth and grandeur!

  19. yes Pooja and sometimes it is a show of borrowed money or credit card power....

  20. Hmmm.. Too much of thinking gone into it? Before it was my father bringing crackers. It was just fun.
    Now, ofcourse we don't burst. When we think of kids Sunita. They just need fun. And bursting crackers is the cause of happiness to them.
    In that point of view. I would nod yes for crackers. Charity? Hmmm.. A selfish parent would think about childrens' happiness first.
    Sorry. For the late comment. Was settling down in Pune.

  21. This is a wonderful example of how bloggers can make a difference to the world It is likely that many of the people who read this post will not make significant changes to their lives, but they will surely start thinking about the correctness and the ethicality of their behaviors.

    The challenge in creating a truly equitable society really lies in addressing our personal greed and aspiration. Once we can see that our higher self does not have the aspirations or the greed that the corporates and the media thrust on us, the rest of the journey becomes easier. But the strength of the message that you are only as good as how much you possess in material terms is so strong precisely because of numbers - everyone around you believes in it and practices it. The one who does not is perceived as a loser, a social misfit.

    For bloggers who are trying to write about a more compassionate and equitable world, the change needs to start within ourselves first. We can become role models and examples for people who are ready to take the step towards simplicity and minimalism, but are afraid of what others will say.

  22. sadly... Indians can do anything in the name of god and religion... Be it blindly following anythin... they never question such things...

    But when it comes to feed/help someone,, they ll be all cynical

    nice post... Helping the needy is the biggest respect anybody can give to god... No one realizes it

  23. @ Sahana: totally agree with you..parents would ofcourse think about their kids.. But I really do not understand spending 10k and 15k on crackers ya..

    @ Geet: thx and welcome to SuKupedia :)

    @ Subhorup: welcome to SuKupedia :)...Rightly said...be the change you want to be..

    @ Sourabh: welcome to SuKupedia :) well atleast most of them are like that.. but I also know of people who are different ..Just hope the number increases...

  24. Flaunting wealth has always been a trademark of Indians, be it a festival or not! You've shared some wonderful thoughts here. My first time here and loved it!

    Stay blessed.


  25. thank you Soumya.. welcome to Sukupedia :) :) hope you like it here :) :)

  26. In the olden days, even though they didn’t eat from each other’s plates and didn’t allow just anyone to enter kitchen, they had deeper respect and bonding than our present days when we don’t care for almost anything yet feel comfortable at the thought that we are not like olden days…

    Btw, dropping coins in temple collection boxes is indeed also charity. All big temples carry out a lot of social work out of that money, and smaller temples manage to remain clean and maintain their house, with that money. So I am not against the practice, though of course we should do some direct social help too.

    You can check this page http://www.amritapuri.org/activity/social

    It is a noble idea to spread the light in others’ lives on occasions like Diwali. Great that many are able to do it…


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