Diwali: November 14th

Nanowrimo word count 1067 running total 20839

We didn’t celebrate Diwali when I was young. The first time that I saw people celebrating it was in 1964. It was double-edged, there was the happy, lighting up the dark, side and the scary side. There was a boy whose leg, behind his knee, had been burned by Diwali fireworks and not healed, leaving him walking with a limp. Young people might throw a firework towards someone in malice. I knew a girl whose one plait was cut off in the crowds. It would be used to perform black magic. The hair of a virgin, I suppose.
Placing candles in your windows will light the path of the Goddess Lakshmi, and she will bring you wealth over the next year. Some like to gamble on this night, and if you win you will have good luck all year.
The 6th Guru of the Sikhs was released from prison in Delhi. He had been incarcerated for speaking out against the Muslim government. This is the reason Sikhs celebrate Diwali, but it’s more of a community celebration rather than specifically religious, like Christmas. The inner sanctum of the Golden Temple will be draped in lights. Hindus celebrate the return of Ram from fourteen years of exile. People enjoy the fun of lighting fireworks, eating sweet food and receiving gifts. These used to be clothes. Fine new clothes for Diwali.
I will light candles and use some of my Christmas fairy lights to brighten up my home. We do need some sparkle in this time of Coronavirus when we can’t visit each other.


November 5th

November 5th 2100 words total 9,437

There is still no final result for the Presidential election though Joe Biden seems to be inching towards victory.
Bearsden Writers met this morning to hear about the General Article submissions for the Scottish Association of Writers competition. Three members have experience in entering, and they gave us much useful information. We adjourned for half-an-hour to write an article. I spent a lot of time editing the piece even after our feedback session was over.

The secret of completing the 50k words for Nanowrimo in thirty days is to type as fast as you can and not to edit. I’m now at 1955 and I’ve added some writing that I’d written before. And I’ve counted the submission article although it’s not finished.
In my family history, the earliest date I refer to is 17th Century when I remember the Guru who wrote the Sikh marriage service as my parents were married in November 1944. Then, I note that in the various census of the 19th Century, organised by the British Raj, the Sikhs had a lower ratio of male to female than Hindus or Muslims. My grandmother told me about an old woman, a neighbour of ours, who died screaming that the granddaughters she had killed at birth were at the end of her deathbed – sad times.