Few summers ago, in a cozy corner of our back yard lived a flock of pretty chicken. A healthy bossy hen was chosen to mother the next batch of birds. After laying eggs for about a month, she would become a frisky, tempered, irritable matron who was once elegant, active and voracious. It was incubation time. Gently rolling each egg under her wings, she sat on them for about a month with singular dedication. On the day of reckoning, hatchlings start emerging from under the protective wings of their mother. With the chirping of cute feather-balls, my mom would sincerely prepare a lamp with wick dipped in sesame oil, light it and welcome the chicks by waving it in front of them. More than aves, it is common for every human newborn, newly weds and guests to be welcomed with 'aarti' in traditional households.
Lamp is auspicious, it symbolises peace, concentration, hope and well-being. A lamp is always lit with a pair of wicks. They symbolise a dedicated couple while the lamp itself denotes the family. The lady of the house makes sure that one particular lamp is kept lit almost always, especially in the morning as well as evening. This is the eternal flame or 'Nandaa Deepa' of the house. Lighting new lamps from this main lamp symbolises growth of one's family.
Since ancient times, people in the subcontinent lead a busy farm based life from the beginning of the year till the end of monsoon. Once the daily bread is secured, it is time to relax, replenish and rejoice. It is time for Diwali, Deepavali. During the lunar month of Kartika, numerous earthen lamps are lit from the 'Nandaa Deepa' and decorated as a rangoli of lights in front of the house. Lamps are kept in every nook and corner so as to flood the the entire being of one's home with warm golden rays of oil lamps. This celebration of light is a mark of material and spiritual prosperity.
Fifth edition of Deepa Soundarya is ready with varieties of colourful lamps from across the country. Wax filled pots, clay lamps, metal deeyas and Deepamallis are all set to bedazzle along with objects of desire and traditional gift articles. Come, celebrate this Diwali with lights and beauty. Welcome to Deepa Soundarya, a treasure trove of beautifully crafted deeyas, candles and lanterns.
- Dr. Dileep Kumar Gowda
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