Goa ‘bursts’ into Diwali celebrations

As Goa chose to rupture routine and switched to adorn their homes with shimmering streaks of coloured light, pump up the outdoor music systems to blast the latest filmy songs and throw the limelight on grotesque giant effigies of demon king Narkasura, only to consign them to flames past midnight, you could sense that Diwali was in the air, Monday evening.

Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">Diwali is a festive time in India like no other. After dusting the carpets and clearing the cobwebs, the air bubbles with excitement and marvelous fireworks, to usher in the joyous festival of lights. The bustling markets from Perineum to Anaconda, with Panjim thrown in, in good measure were brimming with revelers shopping for fireworks; abash kindles and all the things that need to be thrown in to carve out a delightful family Diwali.

The festival of lights – Diwali is being celebrated across the state, and indeed India and the world, to mark triumph of good over evil.

Houses and doorways are decorated with flowers, lights and traditionally clay lamps which come to life on the balcony, spreading the joy and cheer of Diwali.

Laxmi puja which this year falls on the day of Diwali, will be held in every Hindu household Tuesday evening to ensure that people have prosperity all year round, after which fire crackers will rent the air. Sweets form a special part of the festival with many families, especially in villages across Goa, preferring to prepare sweets at home. Exchanging sweets and gifts revives the familial and emotional bonds at Diwali.

“After a frantic spree of shopping, spring-cleaning, whitewashing and redecorating, Diwali arrives,” said Vidya a local, shopping for ‘aakash divas’ and lights in the Panjim market.

“ I love Diwali. It’s so exciting to give and receive presents at Diwali. But my favourite preoccupation will surely be Diwali sweets,” said an excited Khushbu from Vasco.  

Kids were seen tugging at their parents’ to purchase fireworks, sweets and clothes of their choice. Every corner, every street across Goa witnessed a blast Monday evening as enthusiastic youth were seen giving final touches to the effigies of Narkasura both big and small. While children dabbled at making smaller effigies for entertainment sake, the grown-ups were more serious as they bid for the prize money offered at Narkasur effigy competitions.

Irrespective of the rising costs, the festival spirit has kept the mood upbeat and the cultural associations and other groups went ahead and the Narkasur effigies were bigger and better than what they managed last year.   

The streets across the State were a beehive of activity, even as police patrol vehicles on their night beat, weaved through bystanders and families on wheels watching Narkasura, to ensure a trouble-free celebration.  [H]