Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lighting up lives

Diwali is the festival of lights. And it is interesting how we light up our houses. Clean it to ward off the evil, decorate it with lamps to welcome to the goddess. But there are seldom few, but a definite few who go to the next level and think of lighting up humanity. They take the pain and a considerate effort to ensure that lives other than theirs are lit during Diwali.

We love lists, and here is a list of 5 things that you could do during Diwali to light up someone’s life.

1. Play Angel
Gift Street kids old working toys. Their playmates are empty tins and water bottles. The GI JOE’s and Barbie lying hopelessly in the corner of the room would find owners who would love them more than you do.

2. Play Grand-Kid
Rush to an old age home and put up your goofiest avatar. Make a wrinkled face smile. Get paid in smiles and blessings.

3. Be the unofficial mithai wala
Distribute sweets amongst the building watchman, pizza delivery boy, sweeper and all those people who long for a nice tasty treat. You could do without it, atleast your doctor thinks so.

4. Donate Clothes
While you dress in your swanky new dress, there are people on the streets who walk around in torn, dirty linen that just about covers them. Donate clothes that you don’t wear anymore but would love to wear though.

5. Sponsor a child
What better way than lighten up a child’s future? Sponsor a child’s education and track his academics. 

Beyond playing list diggers, we also thought we could feature some individuals who did light up lives during Diwali.

Meet Shruti Singh, a 20 something from Mumbai, who decided to empower some women this Diwali. Shruti, an artist herself, took sessions on diya painting for these women from Murbaad village and motivated people to buy these diyas through her social media page. She took the project forward and taught street kids to do the same too. More power to you Supergirl.


Another girl, Nirali Shah played Santa for some street kids. On a usual day this day-time lawyer and weekend teacher asked these kids to write things that they want in a piece of paper. Closer to the celebrations, these kids got visited by Santa Shah herself... with a bagful of gifts that they had asked for, followed by a party at her house. 

So what did you do to light someone’s life? Share with us by participating in the our contest... https://www.facebook.com/MahindraPowerol

Do-wali: Things to Do during Diwali

Warning! We are just about to get a tad preachy. Diwali shouldn’t be reduced to one day of noise and gorging on sweets. So we decided to play teacher this week, to tell some must does of Diwali and the reason behind it. Here goes.
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanteras. It is technically the 13th day from Poornima or the full moon. So now you know how that name breaks up... Dhan (money) + teras (13). Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped this day, the goddess of wealth.

·      It is customary for go shopping on this day. (Just another reason we presume). Buy some gold and utensils on this day.
·      Make the entrance way to your house colourful. You may use flower garlands, bells, LED lights and most importantly draw up a rangoli. Keep the decor up for all 5 days of Diwali. 

The 14th day is Narak Chaturdashi or Choti (Small) Diwali. It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasur, freeing our world from his terror.

This is technically the first day for lighting firecrackers. Please avoid loud crackers, and don’t burst too many. Do it for rituals sake.
The new moon day is the most significant day. This is the actual day of Diwali. It is said that goddess Lakshmi enters the house and it is imperative for the house to be clean.

·      Draw small footprints with nice flour over your house, it’s a way of indicating the goddesses arrival into your house.
·      Perform a Lakshmi Pooja.
·      Exchange gifts and sweets to share love and propagate brotherhood.
·      It's okay to play for money in card games but don't get swayed by it.
·      Firecrackers galore post dinner. (You may skip this part though... a little sparkler here are there should do.) 

The next day is the first day of the bright moon and is called the Balipatipradha or Govardhan puja. This is believed to be the day that Lord Krishna lifted the enter Govardhan mountain to protect the people of Gokul from the wrath of Lord Indra.

·      Feed the poor. It’s a way of being an agent of Lord Krishna and to protect the poor
The fifth and the final day is Bhai Dooj. Its a renewal of sibling love, where sisters pray for the health of their brothers and exchange gifts. 

·      Meet your brother. And most importantly gift him. You see there are not too many days that he gets to feel special :)

Are there some rituals that you follow during Diwali. Share it with us in the comments section below.
Happy Diwali everyone... May Goodness Light up your Life!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Ye Diwali... Different Diye Wali

To be honest, Diwali diyas can be boring. This year too, you will remove that old plastic cover that contains all the old mud diyas, wash it, dry it and reuse it. But I am sure that after you read this blog, you won’t really do that...
  • Looks rustic... smells good
Rustic looks always works. From furniture to decor items, the look that wrought irons and wooden splinters give to the room can seldom be matched. Here’s our way of creating a rustic looking candle. Pick up some cinnamon sticks, stack them together in a circle and tie then up with thin jute ropes. Place a scented candle in the middle and there you have your scented rustic candle.
  • The old wine bottle, with no wine left
Gulped up that wine to the last drop? Don’t throw the bottle away. Paint up the old bottles with glitter and inserting lights inside and watch the bottles that made you buzz... buzzing.
  • Plastic Spoons Lantern
Move aside paper lantern, welcome used-material lantern. Pick up used spoon and break the head away. Stick them together with super glue, tapering down. Put a light inside and there you have your used plastic spoon lantern.

  • Bulb-wick-light
Yes, yes we know bulbs are not eco-friendly and that’s exactly why we are recommending this. Replace them with CFLs or LED, and bore a hole in their base. Pass a pipe through and remove the filament holder. Fill it with oil and block it with a wick. Wrap a twine and paste the end of the twine on the rim of the glass. You have a beautiful lamp ready.

  • Light Inside
Why should light be restricted to the outside? Hide the string lights in between your curtains and turn the inside of your house into a colourful version of the mood outside.

Do you have suggestions for us on how you could use light’s better and innovatively for Diwali? Leave your comments in the section below.


Some celebrate Diwali at home. There are many who run away from cities worrying blocked roads, traffic and crackers. This Diwali is strategically placed just before the weekend this year. If you haven’t already planned it, here are a few quick suggestions. Places to visit during Diwali:

The Golden Temple with a golden draping of lights is a sight worthy of watching. If you are a DSLR junky, then this is the place to be. The edge of the lake is fringed with countless oil lamps, lit by devotees and the reflection of the lake, looks like the gods are reciprocating.

A similar sight will be seen in the city pegged as one of the most spiritual places on earth... Varanasi. You will see the bank of the holy river ganga light up with a million oil lamps, each oil lamp representing the belief of a soul.

If you love merging celebrations & temples, then you should definitely visit Kolkata. Kali Puja, which is mandatory sight during Diwali, makes one witness with huge false gates being lit up with LED lights. If you wish to see the gates of heavy (an artist’s rendition) while you are alive, then Kolkata is the place to be.

The Pink City loses its association with one color and takes a multi-color avatar during Diwali. The Hawa Mahal turns into a bright color pack in the night of Diwali.

And this is the last place that you would guess. Go Goa now... Be in Goa to witness the biggest and the scariest effigy of the demon Narakasura as they burn it at dawn.

Tell us the place you would visit this DIWALI in the comments section below. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Don’t take these facts lightly...

Yes, the headline’s an attempted pun at our favourite topic: Light. With the Mangalyaan doing rounds of Mars, we sense an attitude to learn in the online space. So here we go with our fun facts about light.

Light takes 1.255 seconds to get from the Earth to the Moon. That’s faster than, well everything. The only thing/person/character that can stand a chance to compete with that is Flash... or, can he?

Distances in space are so vast that the fastest thing in the Universe – Light – is used to measure them. Now imagine someone running light to measure the distance between 2 planets.

3. Good looking... And then they talk
Age old joke, “Why do people appear intelligent until they start speaking?, Because light travels faster than sound...”. And that’s probably also the reason why you see lightning before you hear the thunder. Probably... no... that is the reason why.

4. You have 8 minutes to get up
Between the sun deciding to shine on you and you deciding to wake, you have exactly 8 minutes and 32 seconds. That’s the time that the sun rays take to reach the earth

5. Around in the world in just one name
By the time you take your name, light can travel around the world more than 4 times. Ever wondered about this before introducing yourself to someone?