diwali 11/11

fireworks-1245636POSTCARD #167: New Delhi: There’s this colossal BOOM… so loud it sets off a car alarm down the street. The glass, brick and concrete of the buildings resonate like a huge drum. Startled, is not the word – it’s the nearest thing to jumping out of your skin I’ve ever experienced – automatic response. Confusion in time… what happened first? Was it before it happened that it seemed like I saw, in the darkness of mind-space, this amazing bright sky-blue colour appearing behind bars of intense black, parts of the structure that had been holding the immense blue, falling away in pieces, collapsing, and more and more of this lovely sky-blue colour is revealed.

HAPPY DIWALI EVERYBODY! I’m up on the roof terrace watching the fireworks display, another explosion of sound and light blows me away for an instant, takes time to recover… then there’s another one.  It’s too loud for me, having this PHN condition, sensitive to sound and light, so I go downstairs where it’s less smoky. Even so, some very loud explosions as I start up the laptop to write this post.

Driving to see the doc yesterday and there were people everywhere cleaning doorways with water and brooms. I read about it later. Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. An important turning point, and that’s enough for me to feel something of its significance. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs and some Buddhists to mark historical events, the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. The main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika.

Another interesting thing about Diwali this year is that it falls on November 11 (11/11), a significant number for many people. The perception is that throughout our lives, external forces guide and protect us, commonly represented by guardian angels. The number 11 is a ‘master’ number; two ones in conjunction are thought to symbolize a doorway opening to new opportunities. This number represents creativity, and presents itself to innovative individuals as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of self and purpose.

‘You’re not living until it doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn to you whether you live or die. At that point you live. When you’re ready to lose your life, you live it.’  [Anthony de Mello]


Note: Excerpts from an earlier post: ‘synonyms for startled’ included here