Happy Diwali and Kali Puja. I’m still not totally clear on all the Whats and Whys of this holiday, but that’s not gonna stop me from celebrating it. My boyfriend is Bengali-American and this is the one I observe with him – though Hindus have about 500 holidays. What I like most of all is that we don’t fast. Our tradition is pretty minimal. It’s called Let’s Drink Booze and Eat Awesome Food Instead of Fasting.
How can you not honor a deity that looks like she could take down all of the other gods in her sleep?
From what I’ve gathered over the years, Kali is a deity born from another deity’s forehead. She killed demons and strung their heads as garland, but then lost herself in the slaughter. You might say things got a little carried away when she began to do a dance to end the world. Her husband couldn’t stop her so he laid down beneath her feet. When she realized she was dancing on her counterpart she stuck out her tongue in shame.
While Kali is most known for her destructive past, she’s also the goddess of preservation. What some say she really destroys is the ego so we can cut through to the heart of who we are. My favorite aspect is that she’s depicted in her worst moment. After seeing the destruction Sandy brought to so many communities, Kali makes even more sense. The mind and body have to leap to preservation, or you drown in what is lost.
And so tonight we cook like we’re possessed, then share some crazy delicious foods and wine with the glow of white lights strung from the ceiling. Maybe we’ll get a little carried away and destroy something, but don’t worry, world. We’re not as ambitious as Kali. I’ll settle for destroying all of the below:
- My 7-year old flip phone that just won’t die
- The apartment buzzer/ sonic sword that pierces my brain bright and early every single morning when the mailman comes
- The mailman’s alarm clock
- Christmas ads airing a month before their time
- The street lights attached to the luxury apartment building across the street that shine into my bedroom all night
- The tempting scent of doughnuts and pizza, and other wheaty foods that the gluten-free version of doesn’t come close to
- End bread. You know, the crusty slices that frame the real bread that nobody wants. You try to turn them inside out and make a sandwich, but you know in your heart it’s a sham.
- Whoooos and YOLO
This is only a sampling of my hit list. Thinking of things to destroy is actually a challenge. No wonder Kali went after the whole world, more efficient. Goddess of destruction, preservation and efficiency.
Your turn. What would you destroy if you got a little carried away?