Diwali is the biggest festival in India. As a kid, I used to love Rangolis the most besides other interesting stuff such as sweets. During Diwali season, making Rangoli was a morning and evening ritual for about a month from the beginning of Dussehra till Bhaiduj. I used to ask my elder sisters to make one Rangoli each that too twice a day – in the morning and the evening. Those were some days! Recently, watched a video rangoli and a lesson dawned on me.
Rangoli making was an elaborate process. First, bring some bricks and arrange them in a square or rectangular format. Second, fill it with mud, mostly made using cow dung. Let it dry. This is our platform for making Rangoli. We bought different colors, sample Rangoli design books, and some stationery. Further, the creation of dots required another list of activities. We bought a large piece of paper, an A0, A1 or A3 size. Then we made horizontal and vertical lines on it. Once this table or grid-line is prepared made holes on intersections with incense sticks. This paper becomes our grid-line or ruler. During the festival, clean old Rangoli every time, spread cow dung mud on the platform, let it dry for some time and start Rangoli making. Rangoli making started with making dots using the grid-line.
About a month back, Youtube gave this link on my timeline. It is a famous Rangoli channel with millions of views for many videos. I watched one of the videos. I still like Rangolis though we do not make it in our apartment as we used to in Dhar.
Yesterday happened to go for my yearly health check up in a hospital. This is a big hospital and during Covid, it is designated hospital too. The staff there was full with energy and making Rangoli, wearing traditional cloths, and after decorating their department they lit diyas too. In such a tough place they were full of life, and enjoying the activity. All this while, I went to different departments for check-ups and was happy to see the staff engrossed in the celebration. Even during such tough time and treating Covid patients these people were celebrating. I was very happy to see that.
Deepavali, Rangolis and a lesson
I was watching one Rangoli on the channel, staff in hospital, and my childhood. A thought struck me instantaneously. Rangoli making can teach life lessons. Every day morning, you clean your verandah. Sprinkle water and make Rangoli. In the evening, clean the same Rangoli that you made with a lot of interest, and love. This is a daily chore at least in many rural areas in India, especially in south India. If one has to clean it in the evening, why make it? Or why make it so beautifully? The creator knows it; in the evening after making it, within a few hours no one will be there to watch it. Still, the creator makes it with interest. The creator also knows that tomorrow morning it will be cleaned. The lesson is – even if you know you have to leave the elevator, and everything is impermanent whatever you do, do with interest, love, and full devotion.