deepavali (festival of lights)
Outside a tiny oil-lamp is burning, coloured rice scattered and blooming in solid white outlines against the golden flame. Inside, I am sitting on the couch, speaking to your mother in low tones and assuring her that the design is beautiful as the henna flows out of the tube in confident curves and lines that I cannot muster. A little away the piano is lilting a lovely tune as a couple of you sing terribly on purpose to songs that I have heard a million times and I smile to them like they’re my old friends as you are. I feel so warm inside singing along, like I am enjoying a home that is not my own but feels just as peaceful and welcoming. Thank you for inviting me into your culture.