The Festival of Lights

Posted by Lakshmi

Started the day at dawn and found myself making tosai after tosai, vadai, chicken curry, ... generally slaving over the stove. The soft approach of waking up the kids with sweet whispers didn't seem to work ( the late night Klang town effect, I guess),so started screaming into their ears and they work up like a jack-in-the-box. The traditional oil bath over, (for those not in the know, smearing gingelly oil, which is made from pure sesame seeds,on their heads and body is a symbolic way of cleansing the body and mind for the start of the auspicious day) a herbal powder called 'shikakai' which is akin to the qualities of the shampoo (it lathers into a soapy foam and leaves just the right amount of moisture in the hair )is used to wash off the oil. Donning on their new clothes -it's a case of out with the old and in with the new - we went to our Section 11 temple for prayers.

Guests started trickling in at around 11am. Since this was a 1 woman show ( okay la, my kids did help) I had to downsize my guest list to only a few close friends and family members and even that was exhausting. The constant rush between the serving, replenishing, washing, entertaining and greetings made we realise thatI was no spring chicken after all... a case of the mind is willing but the flesh is weak . It was exhilarating and joyous to have guests of other faiths joining the Deepavali celebrations but thank God it's only a once in a year affair!

I was spared cooking the evening dinner as one of my sister-in-law's birthday happened to fall on Deepavali too, so we all had dinner at the Zen Korean Restaurant in Bangsar. Being a vegetarian for the day and being quite exhausted, I had a small variety of pickles and kimchi with miso soup whilst the others had barbequed lamb,chicken, prawns, squids....the whole works.

It was sweet revenge when all of them groaned and moaned about a bloated stomach after stuffing themselves whilst I felt quite fine and dandy with just a little.

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