Yesterday was ‘Dhanteras‘ – the first day of the 5-day Diwali festival. Dhanteras is marked to usher in well being, wealth, good luck. The tradition associated with this day encourages people to buy gold or silver to welcome Goddess LaxmiEven steel vessels!
We didn’t buy any wealth as such. But, I got a wealth of beautiful, autumn leaves during a walk around the neighbourhood at 11 AM or so. The sun rays drying my wet hair, while I was engrossed collecting fallen leaves or plucking those that were about to fall – was the most relaxing time of the day!
When I got back home, I filled a large, high-rimmed plate with water and set about to make some floating rangoli with those leaves, flowers and coloured rangoli powder.
Check out some lovely moments from the day and learn how to make floating rangoli…
To begin with, I sprinkled some talcum powder on the water to form a layer. This will ensure that the coloured rangoli powder won’t dissolve with water and even the leaves won’t get soaked.
Note: Make sure the rangoli powder is light and fine. Not the coarse – rice-powder variety or it’ll sink instantly. I used the ‘gulal’ that was left over from Holi, this March!
I then made a basic rangoli design releasing the pink powder from between my thumb and two fingers (index finger and middle finger).
In between the outlines, I arranged leaves, flowers and flower petals. And Voila!
Isn’t it simple and yet so pretty and rejuvenating for the eyes and soul!
I LOVE those frangipani (champa) flowers.
And those leaves of the Gulmohar tree! I feel so clever that I chose them for you don’t even need to shred them. You just pull them outward and get a bunch – so easy to fill the spaces in the rangoli. As such, I love everything about the Gulmohar tree (also called the Flame Tree) – their fern-like leaves, the resplendent flowers that bloom here in April, May and June. Delhi looks like a decked-up bride in that season – thanks to those blooms!
And those other wild flowers that you see – those yellow ones – when we were kids the stories did the round that witches make home in those bushes so we must stay away! And yet, I always loved those.
I’d placed the plate on a small terracotta pedestal so that cleaning the floor wouldn’t be a problem.
Playing with light and shadow in photography is so much fun!
And now, one more floating rangoli – in a smaller plate.
I plan to make some more rangolis on water today; but in glass plates so the colour will reflect from sides.
And now, something that the father-daughter duo tried!
Avie and Pari got these stencils yesterday. He wanted to make something with her without having to fuss over the design, the technique (to slip the rangoli powder correctly between the fingers!)
These stencils, I think, are perfect for daddies (even mums) who would like to partake in the festive creativity with their lil ones even though they don’t want feel comfortable…..!
To make rangolis using these stencils, all you have to do is heap a lot of rangoli powder (made with crushed rice) and rub over the design. The exact pattern will form below on the floor. To get a contrast background to the design, you can first spread a layer of the powder on the floor where you want the rangoli and then place the stencil over it and re-create your rangoli with a contrast-coloured powder. (as in the picture above where Pari and Avie are together)
Pari clicking with her new camera. The courier guy had delivered it just an hour before she made these rangolis. What a joy it was for her knowing that it arrived just in time for her to do all the Diwali photography. It’s a (combined) Diwali gift for her from us, Avie’s parents and my mom! A Sony point-and-shoot camera we ordered online after she, Avie and I read and researched for days on end!
Once the rangolis are made, Avie set our nature table with fresh flowers and leaves; lighted up the diyas and incense and we sat together to pray, meditate and chant. The whole atmosphere becomes so divine, peaceful and almost transcendental…
Watching Pari pray is the sweetest joy! At the same time, it’s an intense feeling for me – to see her connecting with herself and with the higher being. All through out, she keeps chanting the mantra – Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo.
I love these words that I found today when looking for thoughts on spirituality:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
-Teilhard de Chardin
You can see some more pictures of our nature table as I shared last week – with the leaf mandala/rangoli made on contact paper.
Tomorrow is Diwali. Today is Roop Chaudas. Roop meaning beauty and Chaudas – the 14th day of the Hindu Lunar Calendar. As my mom did with us – my brother and I – I’m going to apply a paste of turmeric and cream (cleanses skin and improves blood circulation) on Pari’s face and body; scrub it off and give her a bath with water infused with lemon drops and orange peel! I plan to wear a Saree today and in the evening we’ll get together at my mom’s place. The plan is to play cards, though, I’m not very fond of a sit-down game. I’d rather sing and dance with the kidoos!
How was your weekend? What did you do? What’s the plan for today and for Diwali (13th, Tues)?
I hope you’ll try a floating rangoli, too! And, if you like this post, share it, LIKE it, tweet it, Pin it.