Bommai Golu /Kolu2011

Surprise, surprise! No bommai-casualty recorded this year too!! I did not expect Varun to exercise so much caution.. Barring few instances where he would come dangerously close to the assembled gods paddling fast on his tri-cycle, giving me heart-attack moments:)

Some pics from this year’s arrangement:

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PS: The rangoli on the brown base was done using a rangoli-sieve, the reason for perfect symmetry:) The red-base in the others is a red plastic tea-tray.

Diwali 2010…

The day started for the little Vs at 4.30 AM and Varun must have been a confused boy for the best part of the day not understanding why the streets rocked damaal-dimeel thus!

NalanguThe new clothes were laid out on trays and kolams were done the previous night. The 4 Vs, the BIL and his better half assembled in a row as is the custom here. The paatti smeared our feet with turmeric paste and topped it with the usual ‘nalangu’ pattern using kumkum, followed by oiling our hair with a sound pat on the head:) The thatha systematically rolled a beetle leaf with the nut which each of us had to chew. Varun was bathed first and Vyas followed and then the mommy.

Vyas this DiwaliThe brothers

This Diwali was specially special because Vyas, though stuck inside the house for the best part of the day, actually came out to the terrace to see the beautiful aerial works and let us light some flower-pots and sparklers! Its a big milestone reached for the 2 of us personally!! And he said he loved them though from a distance!! And he surprised us the next evening by expressing his desire to hold a color-sparkler himself and he lit a few!! The entire credit goes to his 13 yr old friend Varsha who lives in the apartment below ours!! She literally reserved some aerials and sparklers to showcase it to the 2 Vs. Vyas didn’t take quite well to the aerials because it actually explodes and so he retreated and joined once the exploding stuff were done with!

In a little while, he called it time and counseled Varsha saying she had contributed enough to the pollution and that it was time to get indoors!!

Any jokes or comments aimed at his fear of crackers was well received by him. He acknowledged the fact and shrugged off saying, “Yes, am scared and I don’t like it. I am like that! You go ahead and do if you are not scared”. And he is right.

Lakshmi PoojaVarun this Diwali

I wonder what was going through Varun’s mind. He kept saying- pattaachu dammaal, but also topped it up with a loud -Yaay- cheer and claps every time a 100-wala or 1000-wala went up somewhere. He was too willing to come out and watch the fireworks. On an impulse, I carried the little fellow and together we set off a Lakshmi-vedi and a flower pot and he appeared thrilled! He lit quite a few sparklers and wanted more!

He was an enthusiastic participant in the Lakshmi pooja we perform early in the evening this day, hurling the akshadai and flowers in random directions and occasionally on Lakshmi or at her feet:)

The exposure to crackers smoke did its share and the little fellow has been coughing away the last few days and nights:( The anna does not let an opportunity pass and was quick to point out the ills the crackers bring and says that is exactly why he loathes them!

Kuppura vizhildhalum, meesaile mannu ottale!!

My Tenali and Diwali

Diwali announces its arrival with booms and bangs in almost every street corner at least one week before the actual day of the festival and the crackers continue to rock for several days after that. While most kids love to scan the crackers list and push their parents/grand-parents to extend the crackers budget, our man Vyas, is a kid in utter distress! You just have to mention ‘C’ in crackers and he is sure to close the door on you!

His hands are permanently glued to his ears and he is mostly found with his legs curled up on the couch. He calls a total bandh during Diwali and refuses to step out of the house to visit the temple, kolla patti, his cousins, or friends on this day. Crackers are my boy’s worst nightmare. Any amount of encouragement, reasoning, bullying has not helped in allaying his fears. ‘People must be mad to burst crackers!’ he declares!

As if to prove him right, last Diwali, my uncle made him stand at the door and lighted a bhoomi-chakram (ground- chakkar if you may call it), and to our dismay, it exploded! “See, I told you crackers are not safe. You people are out of your minds”, he yelled! He does not conceal his fear, but he will also attribute it to factors like pollution, child labor, and fire accidents!

I’ve recounted several of my tyrsts with crackers as a kid to substantiate that if we exercise caution, it is fun to light the crackers in the company of family and friends, but nay, he’d have none of it! Aashi, his 6.5 yr old younger sis, is bindaas and is totally cool about crackers:)

Vyas thinks my pranks of thrusting a rocket to snugly fit the mouth of a Waterbury’s Compound tonic bottle and then light it, is the most ‘stupidest’ act ever and wonders how my mom never figured out the bottles in my possession!

Its years since I’ve burst crackers myself and I’m absolutely fine and agree with him on not touching the stuff. But the fear is something I’d like him to overcome. Am sure he’ll come around, but the agony he goes through is something I can’t bear to see! His eyes are moist for the best part of the day:(

This Diwali, two of his friends from our apartments have taken it upon themselves to put Vyas’s fears to rest! Varun was barely 6 months old last Diwali and was ‘well protected’. This time, thanks to his anna, he has been saying , “pattachu dammaaal, dimmeel, bayam” everytime he hears an atom bomb explode two streets away!! Let me see how it goes with my boys this time!!

Will post updates the coming weekend!!!

Till then,in keeping with the ‘Enthiran- The Robot’ season:

Happy Diwali

On Onam

A chart we did for a project on festivals.. This time, I did the drawing, a thin outline, while Vyas traced the lines and colored. Goofed up a spelling, but we let it pass…

King Mahabali overlooking the proceedings while a little girl does the ‘pookkolam’. Idea courtesy : Tell Me Why, the mag from Malyalam Manorama!


King Mahabali
King Mahabali


Festivals usher-in a lot of cheer and good will and the world around you looks all so positive, progressive, and more beautiful. And reminds us all of a good friend lurking inside us whose existence we often forget..

Hear your friend speak:

I come.

When the tides rise high
Drawing that mighty line,

When the chill wind blows
Piercing your cheeks,

When the Sun is high
Sweating your energy,

When there are loud thunders
Deafening your ears,

When there is a mighty pour
Drenching your soul,

When the night gets darker
Darkening your ‘dare’,

When the daylight is too bright
Burning your eyes,

When dark clouds hover above
Glooming your mind,

When it snows madly
Coloring your face white,

When the two of you quarrel
Tearing each other’s love

When ridden with sickness
Spelling the doom,

When ‘people’ leave you
Deserting forever,

When borrowers quit
Leaving you in debt

When the world breaks loose,
Making you helpless,

I come!
I’m your Friend!

Wish you all a happy, safe and colorful Diwali!

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