Yesterday I walked out of class knowing I was free from studies for three weeks. I do not have to worry about articles waiting to be read, discussions to prepare for or case studies to review. I also realized while one term was done, there are seven to go. The enormity of what I have taken on hits me. Yet it is strangely exciting.
This week at work saw me being part of a Secret Santa exchange. As a group of us huddled and discussed details, I could sense the childlike nature in us come out. Being excited about the secrecy part. Promising to keep people guessing and such. In the grand scheme of things, this is such a non event yet, it is one of the things I have come to love about my job.
Today is Karthigai Deepam. I woke up today promising myself I would light the traditional oil lamps and place them at the door before I went to my bro’s place to feast on appam and adai my mom has promised. Looking at pics my co-sister sent to me this morning I was reminded of the smell of appams frying and the plates laden with earthern lamps (Ahal vilakku) glistening with oil waiting for us to light them. Clad in finery we would carry them to the terrace and the veranda and light the first few with matchsticks and then use the lit lamps to light the rest. Taking care not to spill oil on the pattu pavadai we would then gently place them on the compound wall occasionally shielding them from the wind with our palms to keep the flame lit. The image of of lamps lined homes is something I will always cherish.
Looking back, more than the meaning of the festivals we celebrated I remember the warmth and the feeling of family that these occasions created. The food, the traditions, the new clothes. As much as I try to recreate some of it for myself here, it pales in comparison to the images I carry in my head.
With that note, Happy Karthigai to those who celebrate this and Happy weekend to the rest of you.