We all light diyas on Diwali and next morning put those diyas away…some in the dustbin and some, like me, store them lovingly for reuse the next time! I never wondered or bothered to think, even for a while, the life journey that the humble diya and the cotton-wick agoes through in an attempt to fill our life with light. It may be only for a night that it has a time of glory but it sure is a life-changing-experience for a nitwit like me to have watched critically its life story!
I prepared the diya, lovingly and carefully, for an onerous job that it was destined to perform during the black and dark Amavasya night. Could the diya, on its own, perform the arduous duty of lightening our life? No. It needed a baati—the cotton wick that would burn to lighten up our world. Taking the soft and fluffy cotton in my hand, I rolled and rolled it between my palms till it stiffened to have an elongated shape. Stiff but so flexible that it so easily took the shape to fit the small diya bottom. I thought about life…thought of the life of a girl, any woman, who would undergo rigorous life lessons to take up the desired shape to fit her life, her destined life with the diya. But it would maintain its flexibility and its proud existence though in a way that no ordinary eye would discern it. It would burn its very being to provide light to all those around it!! I lovingly stroked the cotton wick with all the love in my heart. I poured oil in the diya. The baati, immersed deep in oil, with Its top end, proudly, slightly out of the diya, was waiting for the fire to light it. The wick, too, knew its fate…the fate to burn in order to provide light to eradicate darkness! I lighted the earthen diya and there was light all around. Everybody was happy..jubilation followed the lightening ceremony and everybody forgot about the wick. I, too, forgot!
But there was more in store for me. Another lesson that life wanted me to learn from a simple diya and baati relationship! Later when I stood with my camera in hand to take a few pictures of diyas, I could feel the sudden gush of wind… the light flickered!
I extended my hand protectively to shield the baati from onslaught of wind. But, lo, even before I could put my hand to protect it, I saw that the flame of the diya steadied itself. It fluctuated a little but still got some strength to maintain its proud entity spreading light all around, once again!
I looked around to find the strength that helped the baati to regain the strength that the onslaught of wind had made it loose…there was none. Where this strength had come from…obviously from within the baati. It was the invisible hand of destiny, of God, that the combined strength of diya, baati and the oil made the light shine without any obstacle, whatsoever!
I was happy. Elated would be the right word or even ecstatic!! Such a big lesson of life taught by a humble diya, baati and the oil and of course the onslaught of harsh wind to destabilize harmony and tranquility of life!!
Enjoy Life in all colors that it come your way and be steady and strong like the Diya and Baati!!!