Lighting up lives

Diwali has always been related with the three F’s – FAMILY, FUN and FOOD. It is also known as festival of lights. Diwali was never so much fun for us. This time kids and me decided to have an eco-friendly Diwali, bursting no crackers and doing eco-friendly craft and Diwali decorations. We drafted a rough list before the festival as to how and what we can add-on to have more amusement.

 

We decided to celebrate the festival at my hometown in Madhya Pradesh. My motive of taking kids there was basically, show them how, originally the festival was celebrated and the real importance of the traditions and beliefs that are still followed. Growing up and living in a metro, they do get to know a lot about other cultures and their festivals, languages and costumes, but I wish them to carry forward the customs and traditions we have received from our parents and grandparents. Nuclear family culture and modernization is a big reason why kids are losing grounds about the origins. My kids have been celebrating Diwali for 2-3 days, but I wanted them to know that the festival is actually a week’s celebration and the significance of each day starting from Vasu Baras and followed by Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Lakshmi Pujan, Govardhan and lastly Bhaiduj.

I tried to involve kids in each activity from preparations to celebrations. Cleaning the mandir (temple) area, painting the floor with Geru powder (red mud/ochre ), drawing rangolis, making the Toran (festoon/gateway) with leaves and flowers, also painting diyas (lamps) and decorating the pooja thali. It was immense pleasure and a great bonding among kids and their cousins. It was all a team work.

 

The best part being, gifting and greeting the people who are our help like watchman and maids and donating clothes and food and useful articles to those less fortunate as we headed to an orphanage in the morning on the festival day.

 

Although kids got the chance to play with fireworks, they did not. Fireworks are a celebratory gesture. There are various ways in which we celebrate any occasion. We decided in celebrating without fireworks, but the kids realised that fireworks are an ‘option’, not something that ‘has to’ be done.

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Four important things that made our Diwali wonderful were:

 

  1. Spending time with our family and bonding together. Taking snaps and group photos.
  2. Visiting old friends and surprising them.
  3. Lighting up the house and brighten the night. Indulging in delicacies and relishing the authentic food.
  4. Buying some sweets, greeting and giving them to people we barely acknowledge. Buying random things like crayon boxes, cheap toys and tiny clips and giving them away to the poor children.

 

That’s what the festival of lights is all about. Lighting up others lives.

 

Diwali or Deepavali is one of the biggest festival celebrated throughout India and also in many parts of the world. As we all saw President Obama declared a holiday in the US now. That was such a proud moment.

In his address to the White House, this is what President Obama had to say:

It is fitting that we begin this week leading up to the holiday of Diwali – the festival of lights, where members of some of the world’s greatest faiths celebrate the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance.

It is a time for rejoicing, but also a time for reflection. To reach out to those in need. In that spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House diya, and wish you all a happy Diwali and a Saal Mubarak”.

 

So rightly said !!

Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year to all !!

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Diwali gift for Choco-Lovers

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As the festive season had already kicked in with the ongoing celebrations of Navratra followed by Dussera, Karva Chauth, Diwali and Bhai dooj, all of us have geared up for the celebrations. It is a month filled with new clothes, various pooja’s, delicious food, lamps,lights, family get together and not to forget the gifts.

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gifts pack for family and friends

Diwali is celebrated with the vigor and liveliness in India and also among the Indians staying abroad. Diwali also marks the beginning of the New Year. Along with grand celebration, exchanging Diwali gifts has become an integral part of the celebration. We love to send Diwali gifts for our loved ones. Even the employees look forward to receive some excellent gifts from their CEO and the company.People celebrate the festive season with lights and gifts. So for this Diwali and also for the accompanying festivals we bring here for you “Happy Feet Chocolate Home”.

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chocolate as gift for all occassions

If you are still confused about the gift for Diwali and the coming festivals and not yet planned here we have some great options for you. If you are thinking what would be the best, then no need to strain your brain, because what’s better than CHOCOLATES as Diwali gifts. Chocolates are something loved by all, be it any age. Chocolates always turn out to be an excellent gift for any occasion. Be it your friend, family, relatives colleague or your employees chocolate is the pick of the season.

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loved by kids
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best for kids on birthdays

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We have a great variety of chocolate gift hampers from packaging to delivering at a reasonable starting price of INR 500/- onward. Also available are the combos with diyas and dry-fruits. To know more on festive gifting ideas and Diwali gifts check us on the Facebook page.

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Now what are you waiting for? As the festive season had already begun and Diwali will be soon arriving, order for gift packs for your near and dear ones. Don’t forget the kids too. We also accept corporate and bulk orders. Contact for bookings and we deliver you the best. Also visit our Facebook page and leave us a note.

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Diwali gift assorted dry fruits and chocolates
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also available in bulk as per kilograms

Ganeshotsav (part 2)

Ganpati Bappa Morya !!!

There’s been a festive look all over with the beginning of the Ten days Ganpati celebrations in Maharashtra.Lord Ganesha idols are brought home and families worship them, joined in by friends and families. Traditional meals are served on these days (simple and pure vegetarian fare) and a traditional sweet dumpling called ‘ modak’ is distributed.

Ganesha at our home
Ganesha at our home

Kids and me, have been doing the preparations from a few days for the Ganeshotsav. We painted the pieces, put them together and arranged the background and set up the place for the Ganpati pooja. We keep it simple by offering coconuts, fresh fruits, fresh flowers, garlands and sweets.

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how we prepared for the sthapna
We also applied some mehndi / henna on our hands. Ashita asked me to draw tattoo on her feet. I tried my best, I am not at all good, with shaky hands completed the task and made them happy and content. Here’s a glimpse.

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It’s always great to inculcate the importance of festivals to kids. I love when they want to know more. Ganesha also represents wisdom and symbolizes humanity. Here is a great post on the significance of Lord Ganesha’s idol. Amazingly this depicts that his creation is to tell humanity how to live happily in this world. Though the explanation has touch of spirituality but understanding its essence is not difficult. So this Ganesh Utsav, let’s try to be a Ganesha. Live life brightly being a Ganesha !!

GANESHOTSAV (part 1)

The ten day Ganeshotsav or the Ganpati festival grips Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune and other cities in Maharashtra region) in its zeal and grandeur. Beautifully decorated pandals (tents) are glorifying every nook and corner, festive lights are enlightening the streets and the euphonius beats of dhol (drums) coupled with devotional songs are oscillating through the air.

LORD GANESHA
LORD GANESHA

Lord Ganesha is the God of Wisdom and literature. The beliefs and stories basically prove Lord Ganesha as a problem solver in our lives.Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.

The unexpected showers in the city and Ganpati Bapa’s arrival have spread the jubilant delight for the devotees.

No Ganeshotsav celebrations are complete without gobbling on the enticing modaks. Right from baked to fried modaks and modaks with mango filling to chocolate layers outside, these sweet rice dumplings witness innovations every year. We are making white and milk chocolate modak flavors at home.

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I always want kids to be a part of the festival celebration and preparations. This year also we shared some Ganesha stories, watched the animated movie and started with the decorations. I bought the thermocol cut-outs from the market which we have been painting since last week, now ready to display.

thermocol cut outs
thermocol cut outs

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Ashita tried her hand on the free painting style using Fevicryl hobby ideas acrylic colors

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Anika was also part of our fun and learning this time. She made the paper cup Ganesha (much part was of course done by me). But ultimately what I had were happy-elated-contented-kids with insight about the mythology and immense craft skills, not to forget a not-so-furious-grouchy mum.

20150916_210859[1] 20150916_210917[1]The final piece is yet to come in my next post. (Ganeshotsav (part 2) )

The Birth of KRISHNA (janamashtami)

Janamashtami is the day Krishna was born in a prison and the story is very fascinating. He is considered as an incarnation of Lord  Vishnu.  Krishna because of his playful antics, mischievous behavior and pranks is a very human and lovable God. We celebrated Krishna’s Birthday on 5th September. Here is a sneak peek of the festival as the kids were dressed as Radha and Krishna, with cousins.

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Ani wearing the paper crown of Krishna made at home.
As much I have read stories and heard spiritual believers about Lord Krishna, the mythology goes like this. The uniqueness of Krishna’s birth is that, not only did he choose His time and place of birth (exactly at midnight in a prison in Mathura) but also chose His parents. We don’t have that privilege. Even if the doctor may predict that we will be born on a certain date, the time or place can never be predicted. He even chose the complexion of his skin; that of a rain filled cloud. Again, we pretty much come color coordinated. He carefully pre-planned His arrival and made all the necessary arrangements for being carried to Gokul. Miraculously the prison cell doors opened wide, the guards fell into the deepest slumber.

decoration and celebration at the temple
decoration and celebration at the temple
decoration and celebration at the temple
decoration and celebration at the temple

The river Yamuna gave way to Vasudev so that he could easily cross the river, just like the Indian Ocean that gave way to Lord Rama. Ananta Shesha, the serpent, opened his hoods like a huge umbrella protecting them both from the torrential rains. These incidents did not happen by chance. Lord arranged for them to happen so. That is why His birth is not ordinary, rather extraordinary and special.

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cousins dressed as Krishna and Radha
cousins dressed as Krishna and Radha

And the reason we celebrate Janamashtami is that, just as Krishna appeared to kill Kansa and free the residents of Mathura from his atrocities, likewise, on Janamashtami, we must come together and pray for the Lord to appear in our heart and remove all the bad qualities and make us happy and joyful. Staying up till midnight,(even if you have school the next day) getting to dress like the Gopis or Krishna is a bonus 🙂

Sweetmeats ( barfi) made of  coconut and thickened milk, musk  melon seeds (meeng) and thickened milk or sweet balls ( ladoos) of Cholai and Jaggery are simply too good to miss. The reason for the annual cooking was dependent on the harvest time and availability, when we were kids.  Today our options of buying stored and packed farm produce is not seasonal in nature.

As kids we were told, “ Krishna is the most understanding as he stole the butter, he prevaricated on his answers and he played pranks. So if you have done anything wrong he will be the most understanding and forgiving.”  As a youngster this logic made absolute sense.