Padmanabhan Ananth


Celestial Diwali


Here's a memory's burst on festival of lights
Radiant lamps danced to baby winter breeze
They sat pretty, side by side on parapets
They gaily greeted neighbours and guests

Every hovel, house, mansion in the city
In a joyous mood celebrated Diwali
Competed to decorate, celebrate
Every little lamp, arresting piece of art

Some hand-made, brick-red mud lamps
Some coloured, ornate with chamki*
Some diyas**: clever candles in clay shells
Others: fussy, twinkling colour serial sets

The young and the old chattered in gaiety
Competed at many a firecracker party
Some lit up with colours of Sivakasi^
Others sure pedigree Luiyang Chinese

Travelled from all over, packs of dry fruits-n-nuts
Tasty sweetmeats, some even sugar-free!
Trendy posh garments, fancy cool gadgets
'Sale' rivers flowed swift through market streets

If these gave me relishing, festive sights
My terrace threw views of fascinating skies
Muted bursts and multi-colour exposition
Loud attention-seeking ones, vernacular or Mandarin?

After this gala ended, with city going asleep
A scene supernal, I was lucky to see:
Shining star constellations lit up the sky
A meteor showered colour streaks display

John's^^ 'Rocky Mountain High' – folk-rock melody
Played soulfully from a faraway memory:
'I've seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye! '

For us it’s Diwali - just a night, each year
But for the Divine - it's every night, all year
Take time off we must all, most certainly
To celebrate, our splendid Celestial Diwali.
- - -
*Glossy and shining embellishments.
**Lamps in Hindi.
^A town in Southern India famous for manufacture of firecrackers.
^^John Denver.

Submitted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, January 07, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written on Oct.29,2013. Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India, which is also known as 'Festival of Lights'.

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