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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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
On My Blog And the Homefront
Here are my posts since the last Scribblings post
- Thankful for Books: A Wonderful World of Books
- Sunday Scribblings #166: Write a Beautiful Thank You Poem
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?
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.
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.
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 Month, Read 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)
- It is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day on Nov 27th… sounds delish!
- The 28th of November adds more sweetness with National French Toast Day
- National Lemon Cream Pie Day follows on the 29th of November .. so more cream pie for the week 🙂
- It is National Mousse Day on the 30th of November while
- Dec 1st is National Pie Day (more pie!), National Eat a Red Apple Day, and National Peppermint Bark Day.
- Then it is National Fritters Day on the 2nd of December
Other Observations and Celebrations
- It is Pins and Needles Day on Nov 27th, and being the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, it is Cyber Monday
- The 28th of November is Red Planet Day and Giving Tuesday.
- November 29th is Electronic Greetings Day and International Day of Solidarity With The Palestinian People. It is also Square Dancing Day
- Followed by National Personal Space Day and Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on the 30th of November. It is also Perpetual Youth Day (for Dick Clark’s birthday).
- It is World AIDS Day, Day With(out) Art Day, and Rosa Parks Day on December 1st.
- And the 2nd of December is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and National Build Joy Day. Given it is the second Friday after Thanksgiving, it is also International Sweater Vestival Day (observe the misspelling for festival!)
Related Books, Reads, and More
Suggestions related to various aspects of today’s blog
- Check out these amazing Cyber Monday deals for sweater vests for women!! I am loving them all and would love to get an idea what to pick.. I am in a dilemma – stuck between these few choices below. Can you help me pick?
- This book Letters to My Friend: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever so you can write to a friend, or two, or more! And this is part of a series so you can pick any of them depending on who the recipient of your letters will be (including yourself)! Or for this season of joy and cheer to anyone at all..
- Usha Narayanan’s Kartikeya and His Battle with the Soul Stealer. I wrote about this book here.
- Geraldine Brook’s March (featuring the absent patriarch of Little Women)
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