Imagine walking into a home and welcomed by a zillion lights and lamps? Wouldnt that be a sight for sore eyes? well, that is almost how beautiful my grandparents home was on Dec 1st… We were celebrating the Festival Of lights, Karthigai Deepam as we call it…It is also a day where Brothers thank their sisters for all they’ve done and give a token expressing their love – either money or gifts….!!!

Celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai [between Nov15 -December15]…. The entire state celebrates full moon day during Karthigai just as Diwali is celebrated up North India. Excitement and flurry of activities began few days ahead of the D day… gramma was busy making out lists of Puffed rice, Jaggery, coconut, ghee and what nots… Mom on the other hand was dishing out her speciality at home and came here to help gramma as well… Puffed rice sweet balls, also called Pori urundai is what they offer the God on this day… Apart from that, we make Appam[made using wheat flour and jaggery] , vadai and some even churn out vella cheedai[sweet version of the savory] … Not to forget the variety of fruits and flowers that find their place in the Pooja room… 
As the clock strikes 5.30, gramma called me to come help light the lamps in the Pooja room… we lit the main ones, and the rest were taken outside, lit and placed around the kolam she had drawn on the ground… Armed with a tray filled with small velakkus [diyas], gingely oil, thiri [wick] and a matchbox i walked out to arrange the velakkus, lighting them and guarding them against the cool evening breeze.. The weather was beautiful, wee bit of rain, nip in the air and breeze… 
I had a train to catch in a few hours, but the joy of lighting lamps, placing terracotta ones around the edge of the porch, lighting them every time the wind blew one out was fun…. Its something i’ve been doing since i was a little girl… 

After an hour…Finally relented to the wind, came inside, to dig into the pori urundais and appams~!! 

And then there is the 2nd day of Karthigai… and i missed it…. Sigh~!! Am glad i was there for atleast  the 1st day, not just to light the lamps, but to help gramma with all the stuff…