Light it up your way

Light it up your way

The fun season came to an end. I wondered aloud as to when we should remove our Christmas decorations. After Epiphany, my daughter piped up. The decorations really brightened up the place, especially the lights on the tree which could be changed into different patterns. The balcony looked festive. It was a pleasure to sit looking at those lights, stacking gifts under the tree and enjoying the quiet family time spent in the evenings.

Finally, the day arrived when the empty boxes were brought down from the loft. The ornaments were carefully removed from the tree and sorted into different categories. The lights were back in their box. The tinsel was wrapped in a roll of paper. I felt really sorry when I realised that we had to wait a whole year to make our crib and decorate the tree again. The festive season was contagious. There were tons of vendors selling stars, lights and decorations this year. Christmas goodies were sold in plenty. The sweetmeat shop we frequent had to continuously stock his place with rose cookies and kulkuls, both Mangalorean specialities prepared for Christmas.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is another celebration to look forward to with our little diyas lighting up the place. Lighting lamps and candles give us a comfort like no other; especially when coming home at night, those lights do so much to welcome you. Sighting the moon and star together heralds the beginning of the celebration of Ramzan. Light, then, becomes a common ray that people from different communities hold on to. Light becomes a unifier in the "brighter scheme of things."

The bright light from stars guided travellers of those days. Starlit and moonlit nights always bring a special joy, whether written in fiction or experienced physically. The sun breaking through the clouds on an overcast day is oh so welcome. Snow-covered earth with the sunlight glistening on it is another treat. Icicles on trees gleam magically in the light. And there's nothing like a warm fireplace with crackling flames!

In the midst of all the festivities, a clash between two individuals hailing from different communities saw humanity at large coming to help. It didn't matter who belonged where. The main goal was to get the person the medical attention he needed. This news was touching and refreshing. It came as a ray of hope.

As human beings, we are God's chosen people because we are endowed with the capacity to reason and think. In a world where ideas of "your space" and "my space" are unconsciously taking centre stage, "being humane" is what bind us. We celebrate with lights and stars. These symbols signify new beginnings and usher in new tidings of joy
and gladness. Taking it a tad further could be very simple: "Do as God did, become human."

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