The Scent of Diwali by Aishwarya Ganesh

Diwali is celebrated by Indians all over the world — as Kali Puja, as Deepavali — exuding a festive spirit of joie de vivre. For some, it is the biggest event of the year, much like Christmas or Id. We invite you to enjoy the festivities with one such enthusiast, young Aishwarya Ganesh.

The lights lift my spirits and, with tranquility in my heart, my wings rise to the song of Diwali, to the scent of Diwali. Every year, this festival modifies the atmosphere itself sensually. The smell of the air circling us, the hue of the sky and the melody of nature — all herald the arrival of the festival of lights.

Diwali for me is a reflection of hope. It is the light that radiates the spirit of possibilities. It begins a week before the festival of lights. Our home is all ready for its wash and a grand deck up. The neighbourhood, the streets and the city sing a glorious song to celebrate the arrival of memorable times. Strings of lights dangle at the entrance of every household and lanterns swing in balconies. In addition, the smell of new garments and preparations for a variety of delicacies generate a festive scent. The city is thrilled with its shiny new gown — the golden, gleaming dress saved for a special occasion! It is all lit up in its new avatar and eagerly awaits Diwali. People flock to shopping malls and return with huge bags that are ready to give their home and themselves a fresh makeover! The season annihilates all negativity and promotes the spirit of togetherness.

With Diwali trumpeting its homecoming, the festival yearns for happiness. In our home, we welcome the festival of light by decorating ourselves and lighting the diya* before the break of dawn. Worshiping God and teeming with enthusiasm to usher in a positive spirit is something I look forward to. Clothed in a petite blouse and a mahogany coloured trailing gown — a shade that contrasts with the rangoli** drawn at our doorstep; ensuring my perfume synchronises with the smell of Diwali; applying a streak of kajal*** and a tint of lipstick — the colour of which resembles the pink sky above; my umbrella shaped earrings are micro replicas of the lantern swinging in my balcony, my home and I are all ready to greet and celebrate Diwali. The variety of delicacies ranging in their shape and colour, with spherical laddoo and diamond shaped kaju katli, with saffron coloured fig barfi to the sand textured dry-fruit porridge, the blend of sweet and spice and the fusion of vivid colours gives the platter a picturesque personality. The dance of light, the ethereal beauty that beams, Diwali is here and it’s here to spread hope.

The doubt, the sorrow, the disbelief, the agony, the shattering trust — all turn into dust. As Diwali walks into homes, flowers bloom with gaiety amidst lush greenery; the colours are vibrant and the fragrance is soothing. The hope that Diwali sprinkles on us, is enough to remind us that a bit of light can truly open up a whole new path of possibilities. A pinch of hope would suffice to instill faith in every child and reassure that goodness is within reach.  For me Diwali is about knitting cheerfulness into a fabric of gloom when I encounter it. Visiting homes, exchanging wholesome laughter and memories wrapped up onto a plate of delicacies, reviving nostalgia and wishing all a bounty of happiness, the festival makes its way into our hearths and hearts. The true essence of Diwali lies not just in the joie de vivre of the festivities but also in being kind, seeking the blessings of the elderly, escaping monotony to embrace change, awakening the child in us and indulging in the joy of food and lights.

Every time as I light a candle to decorate my home, a bouquet of emotions makes me reverberate with a song in my heart which hums — A Very Happy Diwali!




**Colourful patterns drawn on the floor

***Kohl for the eyes




Aishwarya is a student and an ardent writer. She has always enjoyed writing and has been writing from a very young age. She has published her works in Kitaab and ‘Infinithoughts’, a motivational magazine.



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