ISLAMABAD, Nov 10: The Hindu community in the twin cities are creating special memories with families and friends as they celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, which returns with excitement and merriment.
“Diwali is such a wonderful festival. It’s a time of giving and sharing, a time to catch up with people,” said Pandit Channa Lal, who had gathered with dozens of other Hindu families at the Maha Rishi Guru Walmik Swami Mandir in Chaklala Gracy Lines, Rawalpindi to catch up with the little joys that were overlook for the remaining part of the year.
Tucked up against the FWO workshop and apartments of junior commissioned officers in Chaklala, the 70-year-old Maha Rishi Guru Swami Mandir wore a festive look.
On the second day of Diwali the mandir was illuminated with a few rows of colourful lighting and some earthen lamps and overcome with the aroma of Degs (cauldron) being cooked outside.
Inside, pictures of Hanuman Jee, Ram and Seeta, Narsingh Dev and Jagat Guru Maha Rishi decorated the walls of the mandir.
Dressed in colourful silk dresses and adorned in glittering gold jewellery, the women sat on the right side in the mandir and men on the left, singing bhajans like “Ae Ram”, “Jay Jagjeet Haray”, and “Haray Rama Haray Krishna.”
“The kahani of dewali is the kahani of Ram,” said Mehran as he bent to touch the floor of the mandir and then his forehead before entering.
“Dewali is special because it marked Ram’s return after 14 long years to Ayodhya, after slaying Ravan, the evil king of Lanka. Then, people welcomed him by lighting diyas. This is how the festival of Dewali got its name. We eagerly look forward to celebrate these last few days of the Vikram Sampat, (Hindu year),” Mehran said.
“Dewali marks a new beginning, a renewal of commitment to family values,” said nine years old Kamni. “It’s about making up with friends who are angry with us,” she said.
“We light diyas and open the windows and doors of our houses so that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, can find her way into our homes to bring good fortune and into our hearts,” Rajkumari said tapping the bell inside the mandir.