Not gonna lie, my heart was in a dark place this Diwali. Actually, the entire month of October sucked.

Me

For North Indian Hindus, Diwali symbolizes when Lord Ram defeated the Ravana, and when Lord Ram returned to his home kingdom. Simply put, Diwali symbolizes one’s journey through darkness to find the light which is my current situation. (Yes, I am comparing myself to a Hindu god. No, I am not being overly dramatic!) I’ll be studying for the February Bar Exam while my friends move on with their careers. They will be sworn-in as attorneys, while I hit the books. Although I know I am not the only one who failed, I still feel left behind. All of sudden, the light of the end of the road was pushed further away. Instead of walking toward the light, I am stuck in the same place watching the light move further away. However, my Diwali traditions motivated me to catch up to the light.

Rangoli.

Me making Rangoli

Rangoli is a popular tradition composed of beautiful patterns made using colorful powders or flowers. We draw rangoli on the floor by the entrance of our homes to welcome the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi. While creating our family Rangoli, my mind felt relaxed. I am not an artist, but creating something gave me perspective. I saw an entire picture rather than one aspect. Rangoli reminded me that taking a step back to analyze the larger picture makes you a better advocate.

Diyas.

A floral Rangoli with Diyas

During Diwali, we decorate our homes with candles and lights called diyas. These symbolize the triumph of light over dark. Also, they symbolize the path we’ll be taking. Diyas acted as a guide back home for Lord Ram. Each diya brought him clarity. As I placed diyas around the house, I remembered everyone who continuously supports me. My supporters are my guides out of my crazy stressful (slightly anxious) mind.  Their support isn’t contingent on my successes or my failures. Rather, they’re here to help me overcome all my obstacles.

Dancing.

I know I am not the best dancer, but practicing my Diwali dance every day was a lot of fun! The choreography was challenging, so I had to practice mastering the basics of each step before putting them all together. (I am no Hrithik Roshan or Vaani Kapoor, but I tried.) Specifically, I had trouble with the footwork. During the beginning of my rehearsals, I asked myself: why I am doing this? Once I mastered the footwork, the rest of the dance became easier. In fact, I started having fun! However, overcoming that small challenge showcased my great inner strength. (I need that reminder.)

(Copyright: Ghungroo from the Hindi movie, War. Composed by Vishal-Shekar. Property of YRF.)

Overall, this Diwali ended up being so much fun! My mom made phenomenal food, my aunts from India sent amazing sweets, and I created several slow-motion videos to feel like a Bollywood actress. (Watch out Priyanka Chopra, I could give you a run for your money…just kidding, I love and admire you greatly. No one can be like you.)  I know I have a rough journey ahead of me, but I am ready to face it now. I am excited to enter this new phase of my life. I get to discover a part of myself that not many people get to see. Similar to Lord Ram, I am resilient, intelligent and could kick any demon’s ass. I hope this Diwali reminded you how strong you’re as well.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned!

Published by Nikita Srivastava

A passionate feminist and social justice warrior who occasionally calls herself a goddess. Follow her on Instagram @nikita_srivastava_jd

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