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Happy Diwali & Childrens Day!

HAPPY DIWALI & CHILDREN’S DAY!

Isn’t it a perfect day to celebrate Children’s Day? They are the light of our lives and the little ‘patakas’ that can liven up the dullest of days, aren’t they?

Diwali mornings in our home are like playing a game of hide ‘n’ seek and tag! The man of the house who is a sucker for traditions looks forward to smothering his daughters with oil and utane every year. And they do an excellent job of dodging him around the house, every year.
This year was no different. The girls woke up with loud wishes of happy Diwali by their father. Whining they got out of bed and ran right back into their rooms when they saw the utane.

The father wins every year. He somehow manages to pin them down and massage the oil and utane just the way he likes it. He’s a happy man after narrating his childhood stories (like every year) and his ‘Pehli Angol’ with his favourite sandalwood soap!

‘What’s the significance of all of this Mom?’ asked Ridhima, who’s always got a question ready.
Being married to a Maharashtrian man who loves religious traditions has been a fun and exciting journey. I’ve dawned many sarees and learnt about our culture first hand from him.
Pehli Angod is the bath we take on the first day of Diwali. We are supposed to wake up before sunrise on this day and massage your body with oil followed by Utane.
Follow this with a bath with sandalwood or rose soap.

After this ritual, we offer ‘farar’ – five traditional snacks and sweets made at home (or sometimes store-bought) and visit the temple with family.
This year we did all of this but stayed home for the farar.

Growing up, Diwali meant dressing up with the family, painting diyas, Diwali puja in the evening, and bursting lots of crackers that dad brought home! The only use of utane I knew was to use as a mask on my face!

In the age of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, as parents, we feel responsible for making the effort of explaining the meaning behind celebrating our festivals, not just about the rituals we follow every year, but also the values associated with each festival.

This Diwali is not only about all of the traditions and rituals, but its also about celebrating life and the fact that we are alive, and hoping that we can be the light for those less fortunate than us. It’s about lending our support to those who need it. It’s about spreading cheer in the lives of those who work relentlessly to keep our surroundings clean through the year and not just on Diwali!

Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali and Happy Children’s day!
Stay safe and spread light always!

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