My First Diwali

Arrival in Delhi

Annnnnnd… I’m Here!
…In India
For my First Diwali.

In my last post, I talked about how exciting and Beautiful I find this Holiday!
Read about that HERE
And here I am!
And now, let us talk of Miracles…
About the power of Manifestation…
About all that can Happen for you!
As Abraham Hicks says, “It is as easy to create a Castle as a Button!”

Last April, a Very Special Friend was due to have a Very Special Birthday!
Her Husband, another Very Special Friend, told me a year before that he was taking her to India, and he thought it would be Fun to surprise her with a group of her friends showing up for Breakfast at the same hotel where they’d be staying.
This was all meticulously planned for last April,
But a series of events caused the trip to be rescheduled for Autumn.
A week before we left, my friend said to me, “By the way, you know it’s some festival while we’re there next week. There’s something going on in India then. I think it’s called, ‘Diwali.’”
I Gasped with a sound I had never heard come out of me before — It was some kind of Jubilation mixed with Blissful Recognition and AwesomeSauce!
“DIWALI!!!???”
“You know this?” she asked me, rather surprised.
“OH MY GOD! This is seriously a big Bucket List item for me!”
My friend was elated!
“I’m So Happy for that!”
Later on I said to my Partner, “It’s a Moveable Feast — It’s on a different Day every year! I mean, what are the chances!??? You know I still can’t Believe that we are going to India At All — and now we will be there for DIWALI! I just can’t Believe It!”
Having had the experience of an Abraham Hicks Cruise in July —
You can read about that HERE —
He looked at me with a knowing glance.
“Of Course You Can!” he smiled.

And So it Goes.
My friends are Uniquely Wonderful,
Generous,
Kind
and Compassionate.
The Trip had originally been scheduled for April.
And through a seemingly random series of flukes,
I find myself in India,
This Diwali!
And I am SOOOO HAPPY!
The Energy Vibe is Fantastic.
The Tour Guide pointed out, “The thing about the Indian People is that they SEE You!
When they bow and say, “Namaste” they look into your eyes and they are meeting your Soul.”
In my brief time here, I have found this to be my experience.

The only unsettling moment was on the Long Plane Ride here there was a sick passenger.
Two Doctors, on board by the Grace of God, volunteered to help him.
He was elderly, pale white, and moaning in pain.
I said to the friend with whom I was traveling,
“There is a sick passenger. I wonder if we will need to land the plane…”
“Where are we?” she innocently asked, as we had been travelling for some ten hours
I looked at the Navigation screen and it showed this:


So that scared the crap outta’ me!
But the Doctors — Thanks God — were able to help the man.
And All was Peaceful.
All is Calm.
All is Bright…
SO BRIGHT!

At the AirPorts

The roads and airports are packed with cars — people travelling home to be with Family, or going out to dinner to Celebrate!
You can feel the vibe and it’s all Good Energy!

 

It is a lot like New York at Christmas…
Jubilant Energy!
Holiday Energy!
JoyFilled!

We arrive in Delhi just before the First Day, and we are there for the entire Five Day Festival!
 

Displays Going Up All Around Town

The first night of Diwali, Holiday Displays are going up in and around town.
The entire town has a festive feeling equivalent to Christmas Eve in the snow!
…even if it is 90 degrees here!
Beautiful.
Preparations and Decorations.
Here, the men outside our hotel are creating Rangoli — the art of Colored Rice or Powders arranged on the Ground — sometimes with Marigolds or Candles: We are told that in the South of India there are places where the women make these every day on their DoorSteps, and they are very fast at it.

It is described to us that the two aims of drawing Rangoli are Beauty and Auspiciousness or Spirituality.
So Much Beauty!

Candles in Pots floating Fresh Marigold Petals

The Second Day, we visit HUMAYUN’s Tomb — this iconic structure heralded the arrival of Mughal architecture — Persian influence — and is often considered to be the forerunner of the Taj Majal.

At Humayun’s Tomb

At Humayun’s Tomb

Local Children are bouncing around the gardens with High Energy singing the “Happy Diwali” Song.

It has all the energy of Christmas Eve and I am Truly Blissed Out!

The Grounds are all Decked out and an Invitation awaits me in my room.

The Sweet Shoppe is all filled up!

That night, I get into the private pool… Each Room here has a private Deck with its own Pool! Pretty Ritzy, if you ask me!
I light a Candle to Welcome LAKSHMI, the Goddess of Abundance and Prosperity, into my Life.
I pray.
I meditate.
I splash around a bit, as giddy as the Children!
I Give Thanks!

All is Calm. All is Bright.

Today is the Third Day of Diwali — the Third Day is the Big Day!
This morning we have breakfast and depart for Udaipur.
The Delhi Airport is decked out in Commercial Splendor.
I am wishing “Happy Diwali” to every person I meet, and Every Person seems Very Happy to receive the Wish, returning it just as enthusiastically!
I am on Happy HyperDrive because I get Two Christmases this Year:
Diwali Today,
And Christmas Day only 63 Days from now!
I feel like a Child in a Fairy Tale!
Celebrating:
Inner Light over Spiritual Darkness!
Knowledge over Ignorance!
Right over Wrong!
Good over Evil!
Hope over Despair!

Treats on the Plane

“Happy Diwali!”
“Happy Diwali!”
“Happy Diwali!”
To the Security Guards and the Flight Attendants and the Drivers and the people taking our bags…
Everybody!
I am particularly moved by the Security Guards and Police whose stern expressions become instantly Childlike and Burst into Big Smiles offering a most wholehearted “HAPPY DIWALI!” in return, every time!
We share Laughs and Smiles and Folded Prayer Hands with a Bow of “Namaste’!”

Today’s Indian Times

I read through the Daily NewsPaper on the flight — Plenty of Commercial Ads, as it is prime GiftGiving Time here, and several stories about Diwali and a few of its current rituals.
The Big News this year is that Delhi has banned the sale of FireWorks.
Although people have told me that you can hardly breathe from the smoke on Diwali, no one here seems particularly Happy about the ban.
Commercial Retail Sales are significantly down, as most retailers sold FireWorks at Diwali and that brought people into their stores.

FireWorks in Udaipur

We arrive in Udaipur where this is not the case — FireWorks are still very much a part of this here!
Our Guide here shrugs telling us that in India there are many Festivals throughout the year — “There is another Festival the week before Diwali and another Festival the week after.”
“But Diwali is Special?” I ask him in a leading and somewhat inquiring tone to see if he will agree with my statement.
And in a moment this man of some fifty years seems to turn into a child again, right before my eyes.
“Yes,” he admits, a twinkle growing in his eyes. “Diwali is Special.”
I am feeling like the Santa Claus of Diwali
Simultaneously Awakening and Being Awakened!
One of our more dour Guides says to me gruffly, “So you are a FunLoving Person.”

YES!

It is Traditional on Diwali to buy Gold.

I ask my Guide if my Bug Repellent Bracelet will due. She offers a polite but firm, “No!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arrival we are greeted with a shower of RosePetals

We arrive at our Hotel in Udaipur.
No slouchy joint!
We are Greeted with Traditional Hats for the men and Scarves for the Ladies.
I am wishing “Happy Diwali!” to everyone I see!
They seem Happy!
I am Happy!

This afternoon there is a Rangoli WorkShop!
The Place is So Beautiful!
And we got to make Rangoli, ourselves!
So Many Colors!
So Many Bright Beautiful Colors!
And then I began to notice… The People Too!
So Many Colors!
All Working Together to make something So Beautiful!
All shades of Skin Tone…
All of us, working together!
Fuck You, Donald tRUMP! This is Not Your World! It is Ours!
Sorry! Lower Self Moment.
But, you know, when you see the World Working and How Beautiful it is and how Peaceful People Are and how the Arts and Creative Projects bring People Together…
His Lies just don’t cut it.
It’s not the Truth!
The Truth is So Much More Beautiful

Being fitted for my Rajasthani Safa by an Expert Artisan

and Magnificent
and Peaceful
and Creative
than any of us can ever know!
But here it was…
The Experience of Knowing!
Light over Darkness!
Good over Evil!
Awareness over Ignorance!
Hope over Despair!

After Rangoli, we are ushered into the Courtyard beyond for Sweets and FireWorks.
As one Driver explained to me, “Diwali is all about Sweets and Lights!”
“MY KINDA’ HOLIDAY!!!” I exclaimed!

Sweets left in my Room as a Diwali Gift

We are treated to a private FireWorks Display unlike any I have ever seen!
It went on a Good Long Time!
It is as if JOY is Bursting Forth from the Air and it cannot stop!
Patakhe (fireworks) — Every Region has different practices, and often, as a part of this Practice, Prayers are offered to LAKSHMI the Goddess of Prosperity, Wealth and Abundance.

There is So Much that cannot be captured in Pictures!
The Soldier at the Airport holding a machine gun
And staring down at a Beautiful Rangoli so that you could see the Little Boy within him Smile as Happy Memories filled his Heart!
The Fireworks — They began before SunSet, and continued through the Night
And into the next Morning and for two days More!
Nonstop — Literally NonStop —
Lighting up the Sky and Exploding with Joy!

The Maharana’s Palace is all strung with Lights, decked out in Festive Celebration

The Maharana’s Palace, Lit up at Night for Diwali

As it turns out there are no Government Sponsored FireWorks Displays here.
The People do it themselves!
All of this Festivity is individuals Celebrating!
Coming Together to make some Noise
And Bring Some Light
And Welcome LAKSHMI…
So Much Happiness!

We ask our Guide if the Community has come together and all people feel they are contributing to the Festivities or if it is more a competitive thing in which people are trying to outdo one another with their fireworks displays. She answers simply, “Both. You know there are all kinds of people — some with one set of ideas, some with another… And there are, too, people who blow their hands off from the misuse of fireworks.”
I don’t know why I would have assumed it to be any other way — I suppose I am just So Intoxicated with all of the Joy that I feel here, I cannot imagine that folks in this special place are just as varied as folks anywhere else!
I’m the same way at Christmastime at Home — There is too much Good going on to spend time and energy on any Ill Motivated Behaviors!

It takes a Lot of People to Create Beauty and Community, and Every One of us Matters!

I walk through the Perfectly Lit Courtyard on the evening of the Third Day and it is So Beautiful, I sit down in the midst of the Landscape of FairyLights and Magic, and weep!
It is pure Enchantment!
It is LAKSHMI and SANTA CLAUS and the Lights of HANUKKAH and KWANZAA and a WINTER SOLSTICE…
It is DIWALI!
It made me feel to my core our Universality —
The Oneness
The Light
The Love that exists in this World and that we ALL SHARE with one another.

I was So Overcome with Gratitude.
On this Last Day of Diwali, May You See and Feel and Be the Same.
Wishing Everyone a Happy Diwali!

Even the Camels are Decked Out!

A Return to your Childhood Innocence,
A Smile beaming forth from you,
A Walk through a Garden of Trees and Candles and FairyLights,
An Understanding of the Light —
Of Light Over Darkness!
JOY!
JOY!
JOY!
And Gratitude!

Traditions include hanging Green Peppers over the Doorway with Lemon and Coal to keep away the Evil Eye… When the Peppers have all turned Red, you may take it down.

Cow Dung is placed at the DoorWay for Good Luck and Good Health! (Until you have aged to the point where you have experienced temporarily life-threatening digestive problems, you may not be able to fully appreciate that!) And if one must put Cow Dung at the DoorStep, why not make it Pretty! Also the Sugar Cane on either side of the DoorWay is to Welcome LAKSHMI with Sweetness! After Diwali, the Children are allowed to eat the Sugar Cane.

Traditional Folk Dancing may be Enjoyed (and we did enjoy it!)

Plenty of Sweets (That Happy Diwali message that looks like a Card is actually an edible Fondant!)

…and Presents!

May the Spirit of Diwali be with you the Whole Year through… XXOO

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4 Comments

  1. Debora J Seidman

     /  October 22, 2017

    Wow…love this…so needed to share in your exuberance I need this holiday now! rebirth renewal joy!

    Reply
  2. I’m doing virtual cartwheels in celebration of you and Diwali and light and friendship and all that is glorious and beautiful about these lives of ours. Thank you, Arnold!

    Reply

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