So we went to Noida, DN, Via and I. We did some shopping for Dhanteras, which is the first day of the 5-day Diwali Festival. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped; the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It’s traditional to buy something new, especially gold, silver, or jewelry – but it can also be other things. It was such a fun experience! The guys tirelessly searched every store (that sold jewelry) with me, to find the perfect necklace. My request was simple, I wanted it to be small and the color blue seemed like a good idea – but I was open to anything really. So it started out as a small project. DN told me to find something I liked. He was searching for a gift for his niece, but I wanted something that wouldn’t turn my skin green after wearing it. I would have grabbed the first blue pendant necklace I saw, but they guys were pretty protective of the quality.
“That’s so big.”
“The design is not good, it looks incomplete.”
I could see that they were experienced. I heeded their advice, and it took us through many stores.
We had nearly given up, and were actually inside a supermarket on the sub-level of this mall, when Via spotted a jewelry counter. Right away we found potential winners. DN started comparing a few, asking which I liked best. Via was bringing necklaces over in his hands. The gold was entrancing… But I knew that silver looks best on me, so silver ultimately won.
On the way to the metro station, DN bought a red flower (which I suspect to be a peony) from a young boy selling them for profit. He handed it to me, and to be honest, sparks were probably flying out of my eyes. We stared at each other for a moment before Via shifted his weight, capturing DN’s attention. In a fluid movement, he walked past me and we were on our way.
Nearly to the metro station, food was on DN’s mind. He asked me what I wanted to eat, but at the time, I wasn’t feeling any hunger. (I just recovered from being sick, after all.) We crossed a bridge over the highway when suddenly a small girl approached me. She was dirty, wearing no shoes, as most beggar children typically are. She kept pace with us, walking right beside me. She was saying a million things I couldn’t understand, holding her tiny hand out. I’ve been taught not to react, though I secretly adore all the children I see. (I believe that volunteering can be more helpful than giving money, as money can be wrongfully used. I know that in some cases, children collect money for some corrupt adult.)
So we kept walking, but she was persistent. She grabbed my arm and clung to me, speaking a thousand times faster. I couldn’t help but smile. I couldn’t keep a poker face. What a cute and determined little girl! We passed several people who witnessed the scene, smiling and laughing gently. She was saying things like, “I don’t have this or that, what will I do for Diwali?” Finally I asked DN or Via to please give something to her. They were both smiling and laughing and offered the girl some money. She released me, but kept talking and following us. We kept walking and eventually she turned around and went on her way. In hindsight, I should have taken her picture and carried my own coins to give her. I hope I see her again.
DN left for his family’s home for Diwali, but it won’t stop me from celebrating. (Unless my stomach does, as my issues seem to be fluctuating.) Last night I lit some diyas and candles, turned on the string of lights and researched rangoli. Today I’ll be making rangoli and cooking yummy food. Tonight I will light more diyas and candles and enjoy the firework display from my balcony.
Cheers everyone – and Happy Diwali! ♥