Diwali is not just a festival, but, it is more like a phenomenon; An event that takes place once in a year and for those Five Days of Festival, we start preparations around a month ago or sometimes 2-3 months ago. It is the only time of the year when people seriously think about cleaning their house thoroughly, be it throwing out the garbage which was stored all the year so we can get the “Best Price” from raddiwala. From painting of house, renovations, buying new furniture or jewelry, buying silver coins as a ritual, getting new clothes so we can wear them on the very day of Diwali, home decorations and what not; for everything Diwali is the Right and Best Time. Oh wait, seems I forgot something very important and that is Mithai, Diwali ki Mithai !!!!, Pataakhe !!! and Clay Diyas… mithai, pataakhe and diye complete our picture of Diwali and its festivity. This is the ideal way We The Great Indians like to celebrate this sparkling festival of Diwali.
And the same goes with my family as well as, we are three members in my family, me and my parents. Safai Abhiyaan for our big home that starts at least a month ago and never get finished even the day before Diwali and still there would be some parts of home remained not cleaned or say Untouched (A big crime in my mom’s dictionary). My father’s scooter becomes Raddi carrying vehicle for few days and it visits Kabadi walah every week to sell old newspapers, magazines, broken household items and other scrap. Though, let me be honest, this year we have not done any Safai or cleaning of house due to my mother’s illness, it has been a month or so since we are running between home and hospitals, she was hospitalized for BP fluctuation and now by the gods grace she is at home; therefore, no time for cleaning, etc., but hey it’s Diwali and it should be special. So what if we didn't get time for cleaning, there are many other things to do and to be taken care of. So here is my Diwali Plan for this year…
My favorite part of the festival is … obviously, Shopping !!! no, not the cloths, etc., but the household items, especially ethnic home decorations. For example, last year I bought multicolored fancy lights for exterior wall decoration, before last year there were cook-ware and this year I have ordered non stick cook-ware and a wristwatch for papa from Flipkart, hopefully will get all those items on time.
For home decoration, here is my pick for the festival, an elegant wall hanging of Ganesh ji, a framed wooden painting made by me, clam-shell made tassels and small beads made chandelier for corners.
However, as I already mentioned in first para, Diwali is incomplete without Typical Diwali ki Ghar Par Bani Mithai, so here I am... the Guziya-Mathri expert and Mummy's Daal and Moongfali Chikki; typical Sindhi delicacy for Diwali. These yummy groundnut and jaggery chikkis are our must preparations for Diwali because we have to keep them in Laxmi Poojan for Bhog. There are three types of chikkis that we usually make at home; roasted groundnut chikki, roasted gram dal chikki and murmura chikki. They can be prepared with jaggery or with sugar as well as. However, the jaggery chikkis are more popular than their sugar counterparts because jaggery has its own different sweetness which you can’t get with sugar. The tradition behind using Gur for Diwali sweets, indicates towards the weather change; transition form summers to winters and so thus our body needs warm ingredients in daily diet. Preparing these Gur wali Chikkis is a tough task, only the Experts (read Mothers and Grandmothers) can make them.
First you have to melt the gur in a deep thick bottom pan with the right quantity of water, neither less nor more. When the gur gets melt and appears like a shining brown sauce then add roasted garm daal/ roasted groundnuts/murmuras into it and cook for a couple of minutes, mix it well and then quickly brings it out on a flat surface which should be pre greased. Then, roll the chikki mix out in round shape and keep it aside (on a muslin cloth) for drying/cooling for sometime. After cooling it will become like a crunchy sweet snack, one can add cardamom powder or finely chopped dry-fruits to enhance the taste and appearance, but in our house we don’t add any such things; simple, basic recipe of chikki. This year mom will not prepare it, she will give the instructions and I will try my best to create the magic of “Mummy ke Hath ki Chikki”. (yummy in my tummy)
Diwali Poojan or say Laxmi Poojan is a time when I am the most needed person in my home... Why ?? Because it's me who have to tell the Gajlaxmi Katha ( yes I am an expert story-teller). After katha, mom will perform the Aarti and I will recite the shloks. Oh, are you asking, what is this GajLaxmi Katha, then google it, this inspiring story tells us the importance of “Karma” and “Hard work” in our life rather than being depend on “Bhagya”.
So, now when we are done with Pooja, its time for enjoying sweets and cracking the air crackers, anar, fuljhadis and sky shots, another favourite part of festival for me. However, this time I am not going to burn any crackers this time, no no, it has nothing to do with green and clean campaign, but with the cost of patakhas .. Pataakhe ab bahut jyada mahange ho gaye hain naa !!! (sadly smile)
After Diwali, Rama Shama is waiting, I will visit my friends and relative's place; they will also come to our home and we will see .. Kisne Kya Khareeda and kiske ghar kounsi mithaai thi ?? (wink wink). We will do all the gossips along with steaming tea sips, snacks and further enrich each other’s knowledge regarding Diwali shopping offers, bargains and kahaan sasta tha aur kahaan mahnga tha and obviously each one of has got the Best Shopping Deal of festive season.
This post is written for the Happy Hour Campaign of Indiblogger sponsored by PepsiIndia
Diwali - a time for family!, here you can check their website https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/.
All Images in this post have been taken by me and not from any other source.