Happy Diwali! For those of you that don’t know what Diwali is- it’s the Indian Festival of light.
Every year round about Diwali time, in primary school, my teacher- Mrs Raj would read us the story of Rama and Sita.
Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita.
There was also a terrible demon king, Ravana. He had twenty arms and ten heads, and was feared throughout the land. He wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day he kidnapped her and took her away in his chariot. Clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow.
Rama followed the trail of glittering jewellery until he met the monkey king, Hanuman, who became his friend and agreed to help find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys in the world, and through them to all the bears, who set out to find Sita.
After a very long search, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama’s army of monkeys and bears couldn’t reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon all the animals of the world, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle.
When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and everybody lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back.
Ever since, people light lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.
I get soooooooo happy hearing this story again. Makes me remember those days of sitting on the dusty parkay flooring in my Assembly Hall, cross legged on the floor. Ajay giving me the death stare warning me not to say a single word to him, as if we were strangers; even to this day he’s still like that!
I do get happy round about Diwali time as its pretty much about food. Dinnertime, we’d sit as a family on the dining table (where we only have Christmas dinner at). Mum will always make her speciality of chicken tikka, Kebabs and Chilli Paneer. And I would make my famous butter chicken and if I’m feeling adventurous I’d go all out with a few naans. As it is the festival of light its tradition to light candles around the house and leaving lights on, like the story mentions tea lights. And as soon as we’d get to my Gran’s after lighting a candle at the Guduwara (temple) we’d light fireworks and sparklers with my uncles and cousins. All of us kids running around the firecraker screaming like red Indians. Playing cards is a must in our house. The only rule is you have to play with pennies. Trust me, you feel like you’re balling when you put a few 50p coins on the table!
Every year the day after Diwali you’d come home realising you have 4 boxes of mithai from relatives. Mum will always be the first to open them up and pick out the best of them all, personally-Besan Laddhu. You know when you’re just about to sit down with a cup of tea and a few chocolate digestives- trust me sitting down with tea and mithai is like that and more!
Unfortunately I haven’t got around to making some treats to celebrate Diwali. But I guess that’s what Ambala is there for!
Again Happy Diwali everyone! xx