All posts tagged: India

A Festival of Light

Diwali is one of the most beautiful days in India filled with light, good wishes and joy. A festival that symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. There was a time when my brother and I would make lists of firework for these days and for our parents to buy for us. The elation would go on for days. Sometimes we’d collect dry leaves, especially leaf from banana trees and set them up on fire in the evening. It was kind of a warm up game for us before we’d start playing with the firecrackers. Though there is a different myth behind this ritual of setting the leaves on fire. it’s called Narapora or Burir ghor porano ( To burn an old entity’s house) and is performed to welcome the spirit of freshness, to burn all the evils inside us and that wander around. However, I had a different experience of Diwali last night. The neighborhood went absolutely dark after an electricity blackout for more than two …

A Diminished Custom

You’ve probably heard the famous quote of Joan Lowery Nixon before: “We don’t believe in ghosts, Mrs. Phipps.” “Don’t matter if you believe in them or not. If they’re there, they’re there.” So, I’d gone to bed last night with the expectation to see or hear from one, but nobody or nothing showed up. I have been a skeptic for a while now but I still have the curiosity concerning the unearthly hands that knock on so many people’s windows in the middle of the night. The day is Bhoot chaturdashi (Bengali Halloween in some ways) after all. The mythology that revolves around Bhoot Chaturdashi is —  When Danab Raj Bali  (fiend/monster king Bali) possessed the heaven, earth and abyss, he outset an indiscriminate carnage. No one was able to escape his rage, not even the divines. So to confine the offering rampage the preceptor of gods Brihaspati ( Jupiter ) delivered a plan to Vishnu. Vishnu then came down in the disguise of a saint and begged a land equal to the length of three steps from …