Diwali is here, rejoice a little or a lot!

Arguably the country’s most loved festival is here! Call it Diwali or the much nicer sounding Deepavali (down south it translates to “festival of lamps” to welcome Lord Ram & Company home to Ayodhya after the big fight with Ravana (as per Hindu religious mythology which we are take so seriously nowadays). But this is to say Deepavali is a rather mellow, lovely festival to renew faith with the victory of good over evil always, no matter how long it takes.
Diwali in case you’ve forgotten is actually a five-day festival beginning with Dhanteras (day of fortune), followed by Naraka Chaturdasi (day of knowledge), Diwali (day of light), Annakut (new year) and Bhai Dooj (sisters pray for a long, happy life for their brothers who are traditionally perceived as protectors of the women in the family).
Most Hindu homes will observe Dhanteras (also Dhanatrayodashi or Dhanvantari Trayodashi) as auspicious to buy a bit of gold or utensils for the kitchen), usually “dhan” translates to material wealth which we add to our prosperity and wish each other `Shub Dhanteras!’ Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in Lakshmi Puja. Some say Dhanteras day is also the day when Lord Dhanvantari emerged out of the ocean with the healing science of Ayurveda. In Gujarat Dhanteras is even more important than Diwali and puja held invokes Ganesh, Lakshmi, Kuber. Actually, the days between Dhanteras and Diwali are observed as chhoti Diwali when the home is lit up with earthern oil lamps and family and friends get together to catch up with each other’s joys and woes. Good wishes, sweets, savories and company of seniors is shared.
Narak Chaturdashi is also Kali Chaudas and relates to a story of Lord Krishna slaying the demon Narakasura and rescuing 16,000 captive princesses. Some say one may not light diya on this day. But women create colorful rice powder rangoli patterns at the threshold of homes and around the tulsi vrindavan. Third day is Diwali day (October 27, Sunday, this year, the day is always observed on the 15th day of the month of Kartika), it’s the high point day of the festival when businessmen do “chopda puja”, close old accounts, open new ones. Also all out celebration with maximum diya lit to woo Lakshmi home! Diwali is the day when Lord Ram rescued wife Sita from the clutches of demon King Ravana after the epic battle and they return home to a warm welcome to Ayodhya. So Happy Diwali or Happy Deepavali as you wish and may the lamp of happiness and humility always shine brightly in your life! Finally, Bhai Dooj day sees married sisters receiving presents from brothers amidst family festivity. Some celebrate it, some don’t.

One of the highlights of IFFI is open air screenings at public venues for Goans to catch up with the best films s of our times. IFFI rolls from Nov.20 to 27 and for the open air screenings the theme this year is The Joy of Cinema’ – about 14 films will be screene in the Open Air Screening section and cine enthusiassts will be able to selected movies form comedy and related genre – including classic comedies of all time and few movies form the Indian Panorama section. The open air screenings will take place at the venues of Joggers Park (Altinho-Panaji) and Miramar Beach and the films screened are free for all, no registration required. Look forward to viewing such films asChalti ka Naam Gaadi’ (1958), Padosan’ (1968’),Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994), Hera Pheri’ (2000),Chennai Express’ (2013), Badhaai Ho’ (2018),Total Dhamaal’ (2019). At Miramar Beach Nachom-ia-Kumpasar’ (Konkani),Super 30’ (Hindi), Anandi Gopal ‘ (Marathi),Uri:The Surgucal Strike’ (Hindi), Hellaro’ (Gujarati),Gully Boy’ (Hindi) and `F2-Fun and Frustration’ (Telugu) will be screened. Make a note of the films you want to see in your diary and make plans for some comfy viewing!

Functional Communication: Sethi is conducting a workshop on functional communication for parents and teachers of children with limited or no verbal communication. Venue: Sethu Centre, Porvorim. Date: Saturday, Oct26. Details: 7720013749

Innovation & AI: FunMinds have organized a workshop on AI and robotics innovations for those in the age group of 10 to 15 years. Venue: FunMinds Learning Tech, Panaji. Date: Monday, Oct28. Details: 7262001268

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