Lessons from Rangoli

In the middle of Diwali mania and the hustle bustle of the shoppers in the shopping arcade one needs either a might of Muhammad Ali or serenity of Buddha to stay sane. I too wasn’t an exception. I was desperately looking out for a quiet place, a moment of silence; my time. Ronald Reagan too would agree with me. To quote him, “A people free to choose will always choose peace.”

Honking of BMWs to show their prowess to the auto rickshaws, haggling with the shopkeepers, stern looks given by the wives to their husbands who seemed busy talking on their cell phones without lending their moral support to their wives to win the parley with the shop vendor and children trying to be play their best role of being extra obedient to their parents to buy them crackers, made the whole canvas of the ‘Diwali Bonanza’ very colorful.

In this whole chaos my eyes went to this old lady wearing a green color nine yard saree, sitting quietly on the pavement, unperturbed, selling rangoli packets, stickers along with other paraphernalia. A simple rustic with absolute no means either to market her goods as loud as others or to get into quarrel with the customers displayed extreme amount of tranquility.

Though buying the rangoli was on the list, but with an earnest desire and curiosity to know more, I went to her. She was already surrounded with too many people to handle. Hence I stood back patiently to wait for others to finish. Selling each packet for Rs.5 each and stencils for Rs. 15 each, her dedication and involvement in every customer seemed nothing short of an antic dealer selling antics prized few millions.

The customers too, as if to test her commitment in her trade, made her demonstrate every stencil they purchased; and only after their ‘satisfaction’, obliged her. Can’t blame them… Getting a test drive before buying the vehicle has kind of got into our buying habits!

Soon as the hovering crowd dispersed after conducting their respective ‘test rangoli stencils drive’ I came forward to meet this lady.

She welcomed me with a warm smile. The whole stress of the shopping, traffic, commotion and noise of few stray crackers which some of the impatient children had already begun to burst was wiped off. I was amazed to see how she could maintain the same smile and warmth in the middle of this pandemonium and after every irritating customer.

Before I could get answer to my question, she asked me very politely, “What I wanted to buy?” Listing out my order she got busy packing them. In the meanwhile, I inquired about her Diwali sales. She said, “It’s good… I am happy this year people are buying more colors than stickers.” Just to know more, I asked, why that made her happy. She replied, “Decorating rangoli with colors makes one more creative and diligent. It destroys the sense of attachment and possession. As one knows it’s not permanent.”

I was startled hearing that reply. I was lost in the depth of her statement. Taking back the balance money from her made me come back to my senses. Before leaving, I had to ask her the reason or the secret of her calmness. She said, “The building behind me will be demolished and constructed into a shopping mall. Probably next year I won’t be sitting here anymore.” “Is that bothering you Mai?”, I questioned. “No… Not at all. I will continue to sell elsewhere. How can I be angry and upset? I am thankful to this place, which has given me everything. Hence I am enjoying every moment of the time I am spending here, as it would be my last Diwali.”

©Copyright2015-2017. ameya pejawar. All rights reserved.


30 thoughts on “Lessons from Rangoli

  1. Jio toh iss pal aise jio ,jaise ke aakhiri ho…….bahut sundar Ameya…….aise hi likhte raho…..jeevan ko kushnuma rangon se sajate raho:)


  2. Dear
    Very nicely described the contents which creates a real picture in front of our eyes. Sometimes we demand more n more but not enjoy the things what God has given to us, unfortunately which are not enjoyed by many in the world. Nice lesson to learn from the lady selling Rangoli. Complements and good wishes to you.


  3. Hi Ameya..; in india we have every month a new festival. writing on a subject which is a part of every ones life is very difficult.. You have given a different dimention to it. choice of words express the real feelngs.

    Calmness and smile two imp. Aspect which you have narated
    Very nicely.
    All the best. keep writing. Happy Dewali.



  4. Dear Ameya, simply amazing. In fact I was living in that moment for 15 MTS. The way in which you have narrated the entire story has pre Deepavali celebrations in front of our eyes. Also lot of humour in it,especially angry wife looking at her husband who was busy in cell etc…
    Above all I like the moral of the story. Accept it whatever God gives rather can screaming and take the life as it comes. She is happy in selling 5 rupees rangoli pocket rather than 15 rupees stencil because the rangoli helps her customer to improve their creativeness. She has got a big heart. Ameya, you too have big heart to write this kind of wonderful stories. Congratulations. Keep it up


    1. Hi Pandian,

      Thank You so much for your continued support. You have always been very kind with my every new post.
      Its very satisfying to know when readers connect with every emotion and the minute detailing presented in the story.
      I am glad you liked the essence of the post. It was a conscious effort of showcase how simple LIFE becomes when one tries to free himself from attachments and accepts the reality.


  5. I am completely amazed by your writing Ameya. Just enjoyed this simple and nice conversation yet it tugs at one’s heart very poignantly. You really need to take your writing ahead.
    My best wishes to you.
    Shekhar Mama.


    1. Hey Mama…

      Thanks a lot for going through the post. In today’s time keeping our lives simple and stupid has become the most difficult thing.
      Will surely work on your feedback. Thanks


  6. Dear Ameya ,
    Loved your choice of words to describe the festive season and at the same time the way you turned the spotlight on the main character ‘Mai ‘.Mai ‘s words are even more touching and brings one back to Self from the materialistic touch that Deepavali now tends to be celebrated with.By Self , I refer to the Divinity within which asks for nothing else but Implicit Faith.


    1. True. Well said. The festival of lights would be celebrated in true sense if the ‘light’ within us is used to guide others to walk the path of righteousness.
      Thanks for your support and such a wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Sir for all the praise. Reality comes out when one begins to empathize with the other. And regarding the intelligent mind… I am not very sure… Lol 😉 😀
      Thank You for such a wonderful comment.


    1. Hey Gitina!

      So good to hear from you. LIFE and its emotions when seen from others perspective re-defines the self created boundaries and shortcomings.
      Thanks a lot for your feedback.


    1. Dear Subhashji,

      Thanks for your wonderful feedback. Words while reading, when actually begin to whisper in your ears and emots through your eyes, that moment is the highest point in a writers life. Thanks for sharing your experience


  7. Ameya:
    Detachment is a virtue often found amongst the lesser privileged. And a lot of wisdom to be learnt from them.
    Simple words, yet a powerful message conveyed.
    That’s your strength which comes out in all your articles.
    All the best.


    1. Hi Kavita!

      Thank You so much for appreciating my work. Very well said.
      You have always been a keen reader having insight to understand the true underlying narrative.
      Thank You for being supportive with every new post.


  8. Ameya, sometimes when you are on a walk, you suddenly see a wildflower blooming and adding colour to an an otherwise dull area. The old lady in your story was like that – a moment of serenity in the middle of chaotic hustle and bustle. And her powerful message….. You do have an eye for the ‘wildflower ‘ and a felicity with words


    1. Hi Gita!

      Thank You for pointing out that ability and reassuring my confidence in me. Truely appreciate for going through the post and for posting such an encouraging comment.


  9. Well we see a lot of smiles everyday, God only knows how genuine they are and calmness is out of the equation, so both the aspect have been awesomely depicted by the lady through your writing.
    Keep up the good work.
    All the best.


    1. Hey Buddy!

      How true. Completely agree with you. Sorry for missing out on your feedback. Thanks a million for reading my post and encouraging me with your lovely feedback as always.
      Cheers for 2016!!


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