This year Diwali celebrations began early, and we(seattle-folks) met for our traditional Diwali get-together on the weekend before the official Diwali weekend. So the tradition continues, this time with different hosts, different dishes, different sarees and kurtas shimmering .. but the spirit of celebrations is just the same! I am amazed at the energy and enthusiasm that Diwali brings with it, no matter where you are or how busy your mundane schedule is, the celebrations always find a way to light up our lives.
The menu for the Diwali potluck was adorned by dishes like dabeli, frankie, cutlets, methi malai matar sabji, dum aloo sabji, parathas, pulav, raita, srikhand, and gajar halwa. From the chaat appetizers to the amazing entrées to the delicious desserts ...it was a grand food fiesta! Need I say anything more about the food?? :) This party also marked the farewell of one of our friends who is leaving Seattle for good as she has found her life-partner in a sunny state and is soon gonna tie the nuptial knot. So a session of hearing her thoughts and memories of each one of us was another highlight of the evening. As much as we tried to keep the session emotional, the efforts predictably resulted in the opposite sentiment of humor and laughter riots. After a round of non-democratic non secret voting for some not-to-be-published-here predictions for this group, everyone joined the mafia(game) bandwagon, another tradition that this group have been following. This game is always intense and brings out the true colors of each player and highly entertains a large group like ours. It was a strange coincidence that like last years mafia session during Diwali, this year too I was the mafia for all the rounds.
The real Diwali weekend that followed was no less exciting. Friday evening was spent with a couple of friends at home over dinner, games, talks and food of course! The Diwali element was added by the row of lamps lighting up the house and the festive lights garland that decorated our patio. The next day was a shopping day, when we shopped till we dropped dead in the night. Shopping is such an integral part of the Diwali celebrations back home(in India) that we were glad we continued that tradition this year in Seattle as well. Last but certainly not the least, we celebrated Diwali with many others at a family friend's house on Sunday afternoon. We met a lot of people from several diverse cultures of the world, and I was once again overwhelmed by the spirit of everyone who came together to celebrate this festival. The delicious traditional Indian food prepared by the hosts, modern rangoli made out of M&Ms, the enthusiastic and energetic kids running around, and warm exchanges of cultural insights with the guests at the party were the highlights of this afternoon.
May this festival continue to bring all the joy and prosperity and brightness to everyone as always!!!