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Friday, November 5, 2010

A Deepavali Post

Happy Deepavali to you (if you celebrate it, that is.)
Pittsburgh is celebrating the weekend as Light-Up night, quite in keeping with the Festival of Lights that precedes it. Strictly speaking, if we were to go by the phase of the moon, Deepavali would be tomorrow night, which is the actual day of the New Moon here, but we just slavishly follow the Indian calendar, despite it being 10 hours ahead.
I've given up trying to make sense of that disconnect, and just scrambled, as did my friends, all busy moms,  to make a sweet (Gulab Jamuns, yum) and savory item (pakoras, pinched off into the hot oil, sizzlingly), along with a usual dinner.
We still have a holiday potluck or two coming up, belated parties when I shall slave over the stove. There are times when I wish that we desis weren't so cost-conscious and just got the whole event catered, instead of filling out lists with various items to be made in quantities to feed 20 people. But it wouldn't be a desi event then, I guess. The very desiness of the whole thing is predicated on the amount of time spent concocting the dishes, and sloshing them around in humongous trays as we drive around in circles trying to locate the party hall.
The weather is anticipated to be cold enough for snow tomorrow, but we'll get by with just a couple of flurries, nothing on the ground yet. The local temple has scheduled its Deepavali celebrations for tomorrow. It's going to be fun with the little ones all bundled up against the cold, happily waving the sparklers that are given out to mark the occasion. Puja, sparklers, dinner, dance/concert - the usual agenda for such evenings.

Happy Diwali (if you prefer that to the more sonorous Deepavali)!

3 comments:

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

i find the desis in the usa have more of these parties than we have them back home here. my relatives and friends there seem to look for occasions for partying. was reading a work on immigrant psychology recently. it mentions this practice as part of the need to create little Indias(as in the case of indians) when you are away from it.
of course, i'm stating the obvious.just that i remembered that book when i read this.
nice post.
btw, Obama is planning to celebrate divali with mumbai youngsters in st. xaviers, i hear! running commentary of his visit is dominating all the channels.

Sujatha said...

@Kochuthresiamma:
I agree, it's the craving for like company and food which drives many of these gatherings. We lead such busy lives with very little time for casual meeting that we are driven to calling in hordes of people at every possible occasion, especially with the longer breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up right ahead.
I just got through a crazed Navaratri season a few weeks ago, managing to save some energy for Deepavali. I don't think I will be doing anything by Karthigai, which used to be the last 'big fest' of the year. It will be too cold and dark then to attempt lighting candles outside.
The upside this year is the sudden interest M is taking in all the culinary preparations. Yesterday I got an earful from her because she had wanted to help with the jamuns and pakoras, but I finished making them on my own. I've promised her restitution, by having her help with the gulab jamuns some other day.
Then, all is quiet till the next round starting mid-Jan, with hectic running around for Pongal/Ugadi program dance rehearsals and such.

Anonymous said...

http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/calendar/deepavali.html