Summary: ‘Light Over Darkness’ is about a Malaysian family’s celebration of Deepavali, by Malaysian writer and poet Malini Lakshmi Bai.
Deepavali, also known as Diwali, was a time of great joy and celebration in Malaysia. The joyful festival of lights brought together people of all walks of life to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.
The largest Little India which is situated within Kuala Lumpur was adorned with fancy decorations and illuminated by a mesmerising display of countless lights that lined the sidewalks and buildings. Families were busy spring cleaning and decorating their homes, creating beautiful rangoli patterns commonly known as kolam, and preparing traditional delicacies and savoury dishes for the festivities.
One such family was the Patel family, who lived in a cosy neighbourhood in the heart of the city. The Patels were a close-knit family with a rich cultural heritage. Mr. and Mrs. Patel, along with their two children, Aditya and Tara, were eagerly preparing for Deepavali. Their home was adorned with strings of yellow marigold flowers, and intricate rangoli designs adorned the entrance. The aroma of freshly made Indian sweets filled the air as Tara and her mother worked together in the kitchen.
Aditya, the eldest son, was responsible for helping his father, Mr. Patel, to hang strings of fairy lights and colourful lanterns outside their home. Their house, like many others in the neighbourhood, shone brilliantly in the evening, a beacon of light and hope in the darkness.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, the Patels joined their neighbours in lighting the traditional oil lamps known as diyas. The night came alive with the warm glow of the diyas, and the air was filled with the sound of laughter and joy. Families exchanged gifts and visited each other’s homes, spreading happiness and goodwill.
The highlight of the evening was the grand community feast organised in the neighbourhood park. Rows of tables were set up, and people from various backgrounds gathered to share a meal together. The aroma of various delicacies filled the air as everyone savoured the rich flavours of Indian cuisine, from biryani to ras malai to gulab jamun.
The Patels, along with their lovely neighbours, participated in cultural performances that included traditional dances, music, and storytelling. The unity of the diverse community was evident as people of different cultures and backgrounds came together to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
In the midst of the celebration, there was a spirit of togetherness that transcended religious and cultural boundaries. Deepavali in Malaysia had become a symbol of unity and diversity, where people of all backgrounds celebrated the festival of lights with equal enthusiasm.
As the night came to a close, the Patels returned home, tired but content. They lit one last diya, symbolising the triumph of light over darkness, and said a prayer for the well-being of their family and the world. The soft glow of the diya illuminated their faces, a reminder of the enduring spirit of Deepavali in Malaysia—bringing people together in a celebration of light, joy, and unity.
Cover image by RDNE Stock project/ Pexels. The copyright of ‘Light Over Darkness’ belongs to Malini Lakshmi Bai.