I must be suffering the January blues because I seem to be craving bright colours at the moment. Maybe it’s because this time last year I was about to fly to India.
Looking at this ‘diya’ should help – in fact I can almost smell the summery scent of those rose petals as I type. A diya is an offering made to Ma Ganga (the Ganges river god) which is often given during Aarti – the Hindu religion ceremony of worship. As you can see, this form of puja, or offering, generally consists of a simple leaf bowl cradling a smaller terracotta bowl filled with a wax candle, which rests in a nest of colourful flowers. The end result is so pretty that I used to find it hard to light mine and let it float away; I wanted to take it home with me instead. But I think I would have been considered very strange and disrespectful if I had done so; in fact it is even sacrilege to smell the petals as that scent is reserved for the gods. Oh well, at least I still get to look at it and enjoy it here.