“People easily forget where they came from, how they got there or who helped them get where they are. This is yes a fact that is recognised all over the world, but I can’t help but wonder am I saying this because I am no longer where I was or where I want to be?”
Diwali today. For many just another day, for over one billion Hindu and Sikh people this is the start of a new year. This is the day that culminates the victory of good over evil. Justice over injustice, etc., etc. The Goddess Mahalakshmi a combination of three Goddesses Durga, Kali and Saraswathi is revered and celebrated all over the world as today is the one-day she walks amongst the people of the world. Hearths are cleaned; oil lamps lit to light her way and door steps are decorated in Rangoli. Homes are extensively cleaned as the Goddess known as Mata will not enter a home that is dirty.
I am not a Hindu, but as far as I can remember a legacy from my parents, I have always prayed for the blessings of Lord Ganesha, Vishnu and Skanda. The journeys to Kattaragama are so many I no longer can count then. Even as far away in England, one of my first acts upon landing in Sri Lanka is to pilgrimage to Kattaragama. For the last ten years I have also begun to pray to the Goddesses: Durga and Kali. After the birth of my child my prayers have always been for her protection and to give me strength to provide for my family. I have given up eating beef for 16 years now. From the day my first wife was pregnant with her.
I do wonder however, especially on days like today why my life has been so hard. If I look at my lifetime, in all honesty, my only real highlight has been my child. I may have studied in the US, travelled to many parts of the world, now live in England, but my life overall has been incredibly hard.
Sometimes I wonder is it because I travelled to all these places, seen so much, that I can never settle for enough. What is enough anyway?
The last six years have been really shit. Some of it completely my fault, but most of it beyond my control. Now as someone who has always prayed, I keep praying. Nothing drastic to the extent where I went helter skelter, I pray as usual. I faced untold suffering, but still while I did not overcome myself with religious favour, I pray.
I believe in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. May the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha protect me from all evil.
I lost everything I had in Sri Lanka after I came to England. I neither blamed anyone for that but just got on with it.
Praying as usual the strength to protect my family and care for them.
Last year my life changed forever. Although I exercise and eat way more healthier than in Sri Lanka in England, I found that I was losing a lot of weight. A visit to the doctor confirmed my worst fears, I had Diabetes. Which I now control with medicine. But my life as I know it changed for far worse than I could dream. I am a man who loves his food, drink and sweets. I finish a tin of Cadbury Roses in one evening watching TV. No more.
What do I have to look forward to? A really messy and painful death. Most diabetics get some sort of infection and die from it. If its one in your foot, basically they start to cut it to stop the infection and by about when they have removed your whole leg you die. The same can happen with an infection in your mouth. It’s not going to happen today or tomorrow but as I age I know it’s a coming.
Now for someone who prays with such devotion and regularity is this fair? My life has been and is shit although I have always endeavoured to be fair by everybody. I have given my services freely to anyone who wants it. I have always looked after anyone who worked for me in any capacity. I have always tried to be fair.
I divorced my first wife. But I did not abandon my daughter.
I was a bloody bastard in a suit. But I have been the architect of the success of many people who sit in the highest honours today.
In many little ways I have always helped people. From my domestics to the drivers I had. I still do although they no longer work for me.
I have little friends, but I am fiercely loyal to them.
But my life has been shit.
I will never question my belief for I have been blessed to feel the presence of Lord Skanda.
But on days like today, where I am home early and alone, typing this post, I wonder why the Gods and Goddesses help only those who are wily, deceitful and wicked.
The Goddess Mahalakshmi I know will not be making a visit home. That’s all right. That is my burden.
In Sri Lanka, Britain, as in India, Diwali is a time for:
Spring-cleaning the home.
Wearing new clothes.
Exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits) and preparing festive meals.
Decorating buildings with fancy lights.
Having huge firework displays to celebrate Diwali.
I am just trying to conjour up the will to get off this couch and go work out at the Gym.
Jai Shri Skanda!