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Sunday Scribblings #167: Lamps for Prosperity and Love, Ends & Starts

Today is Kartikai Deepam, a predominantly Tamil festival that has many interesting stories behind it (more later in the post). This is one of the oldest festivals of India, predating Deepavali and Navaratri. The Akanaṉūṟu, a book of poems dating back to the Sangam period (200 BCE to 300 CE), contains one of the earliest references to the festival. It mentions that people celebrate the festival on the full moon (purnima) of the Tamil month of Karthikai, and since today is just that, we are celebrating it once again! We light lamps for prosperity and for love, especially the bond between siblings.

And well, the ends and starts reference is towards the Tamil poetic form (kind of close to it) picked for today.

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #167: Lamps for Prosperity and Love, Ends & Starts

Poetic Sundays: The Anthathi: Ends & Starts

Today’s form is the anthathi (antati / andhadhi). I picked it because, well, feeling very Tamil today due to the festival. It is a simple festival, with the emphasis on lighting lamps and literally adding the glow of prosperity and joy and love everywhere!

So What is the Anthathi?

The anthathi is a Tamil poetic form where the last or ending word of each verse becomes the first word of the next verse. The term itself is a portmanteau; in Tamil, “antham” means end and “aadhi” means beginning.

The Anthathi’s Characteristics

So the anthathi’s elements are that at its most basic, it is:

  • circular in structure: that is, the ending word of each verse/line becomes the beginning word of the next verse/line. And if we end the last line with the beginning word of the first line, then it completes the circle.
  • metered: the traditional metrical pattern is known as “venpa”. However, this does not translate well to the English language so feel free to use a different meter (or none)
  • rhymed: many devotional melodies typically have AABB end rhymes (again, feel free to use other rhyming patterns – ABBA, ABAB, ABCB, and so on)
  • often themed: Many anthathi compositions are dedicated to expressing deep devotion and praise for Hindu deities. But use it for praising anyone / anything you want to, or make it a free for you theme

Note: Length of the poem is up to you (you can break it up into stanzas or not)

My Attempt: An Anthati for Lamps

The Lamps of Karthikai
Brightly lit clay lamps, glowing in the night’s embrace,
embrace shadows with grace, and they replace
replace the darkness with loads of love and light,
light that makes every loved face delightfully bright!
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites

Suggested Reading:


On My Blog And the Homefront

Here are my posts since the last Scribblings post

Where Life Repeats (Kind of… Almost)

As I looked at the post for this week for last year, I realized I could almost copy and paste my – on the homefront – section into this year’s post here! And that is what I did with the updates in italics.

Of course, a holiday week and my oldest was back home for the Thanksgiving week off from college, and it was nice to have him home, sitting at his usual place on the dining table (well, most of the time this year), while I was on my favorite chair. He – doing his schoolwork and studying for the finals that face him soon after he gets back to college from the break; and me – doing my stuff (including writing these posts). My high-schooler had the four day weekend but was busy with school projects as well, while DH only had the Thanksgiving day off at work.

We met family for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at a cousin’s (well, cousin’s in-law’s) amazing place and had a great time. Delicious home-cooked meals made with love and most of it from home-grown vegetables too plus great company can do wonders, right?

Something New

We also made a trip to the city by the bay and the kids spent time window-shopping on Haight street (our first time to this part of the city in 25 years!) while hubby and I walked around Golden Gate park after having an amazing cup of coffee at a cool place called Flywheel Coffee Roasters!

Today: Karthikai Deepam (Deepam = Lamps)

Karthikai Deepam, also known as Karthigai Deepam, is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthikai (November-December), dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Muruga. We celebrate the festival as always, with food and treats specific to this event, and light clay lamps filled with oil (or agal vilakku) in and around our homes.

FYI: This is an AI generated image 🙂

A popular myth associated with Karthikai Deepam is the story of Lord Shiva taking the form of a huge column of fire, the Arunachala Hill, to settle a dispute between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu about their supremacy. On this day, it is believed that Lord Shiva’s divine light is worshipped in the form of the sacred flame.

Another legend relates to the birth of Lord Muruga, the son of Lord Shiva, who emerged as six divine babies and was later united by Goddess Parvati.

FYI: This one is real! A lamp lit outside my home..on the front porch..

Also Today: In a Dilemma 🙂

Should We Get Lamps, or Something Else, or …? The Day Before, or Tomorrow, or….?

Here is a poem I had to write as I thought about the quandary this weekend puts many of us in (especially for those of us here in the US)..

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
I am stuck in a shopping dismay..
A total dilemma, I must say..

Did I do right by skipping the mad rush of the day gone by?
Was that BF sale online the best price I could have buy(ed)?
Will the Cyber week bring with it a better price,
And have me returning, rebuying, and redoing things over twice?
Or will I feel like, oh my, oh gosh, what have I done?
This thing, the fine print says, cannot return!!

Friday frenzy or Monday madness – which one should I pick?
The aisles were chaotic, the online cart – it is slick.
Should I have faced the crowds, the excitement, the cheer?
Or let my fingers dance on the keyboard, and click from here?
As I navigate the sales, the choices, the strife,
I have to keep in mind my wallet’s fragile life.

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
I am stuck…in a dilemma, I say!
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites


On My Blog and On the Homefront

More posts for sure.. and on the homefront, a quiet one after the holidays of this past week!

This Week’s Celebrations

Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)

  • Literary birthdays this week include: Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Kevin Henkes on Nov 27th; Rita Mae Brown and William Blake on the 28th of November; Louisa May Alcott, Madeleine L’Engle, and C. S. Lewis on Nov 29th; Jonathan Swift, L. M. Montgomery, Mark Twain, Tayari Jones, Romila Thapar, and Winston Churchill on the 30th of November; Azar Nafisi and Candace Bushnell on December 1; Elizabeth Berg and George Saunders on the 2nd of Dec
  • Literary month-long celebrations for December: Write A Friend MonthRead A New Book Month, and Learn A Foreign Language Month
  • World Computer Literacy Day is celebrated annually on December 2 (started by the Indian company NIIT)

Foodie Celebrations

Other Observations and Celebrations

Related Books, Reads, and More

Suggestions related to various aspects of today’s blog

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Will you attempt to write the anthathi? And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month? I

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

20 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #167: Lamps for Prosperity and Love, Ends & Starts

  1. Haha! I love your little poem about the crazy shopping time that takes place right after Thanksgiving. It sounds like you had a lovely time with your family. It’s nice to see everyone in their places.

    And what a lovely holiday. Light. Yes. I like that.

  2. I hadn’t heard of this poem style before. You did such a wonderful job with yours.

    My son was home from college for Thanksgiving break as well. I loved having him home.

  3. I honestly never knew what that word was until now. Anthathi is definitely a new word for me. I thought you did a good job with your poem.

  4. Loved your Anthathi for Lamps – it beautifully captures the essence of Karthikai Deepam. And your witty take on the Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday dilemma perfectly echoes the post-holiday shopping struggles we all face!

  5. It is nice to know more about the Indian culture and especially about the Kartikai Deepam festival. I am impressed how beautiful and old are these traditions!

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