In Kerala, unlike much of India, Deepavali is not the festival of lights – it’s a festival of sound; ear-busting crackers to be precise. Karthika is one festival that I completely enjoy because it has such a satisfying end. Fireworks during Diwali (which are burst to drive away evil spirits) lasts for a microsecond, and it causes more harm than good. During Karthika, keralites plant a row of lights all around their house. Earlier, in my younger days, we used small earthern pots filled with oil, and wicks that we twined from old cloth. For the past few years, we have used candles – my mother tells me they are cheaper and easier to light – but the effect is the same.

Lighting up during Karthika

Light candles all around your house and just go and stare at it from outside. There is something about candle lights that electric illumination can’t match. Neon lights wink and smudge and twinkle to attract us to them; candles do much the same but they are as soft as neons are hard. It’s during these times that I really miss my camera. Otherwise, Shuttered Eye would’ve had a few more additions today.

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