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#StoryOfTheMonth October 2017 by Raj Mitra

Whoever she grows up to be, they say, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She looks up to him. He is her oracle. Mahima Dundy’s “Twinkling Diyas” is a sweet little retelling of the intricately beautiful relationship between a father and her daughter — a relationship that’s so unique that it’s hard to explain, yet “Twinkling Diyas” does that seemingly impossible task with aplomb.

#StoryOfTheMonth November 2017 by Anindita Chatterjee

Warm, loving and intensely emotional the story Twinkling Diyas affects the readers with its deeply moving and touching narration. The story is recounted by a child and centres around the euphoric celebration of Diwali at her home. The child’s eye could sense something amiss that particular Diwali, it was the absence of the father. Though the mother tried hard to continue with the rituals, yet the child’e eye kept looking for the father who was absent for some reason. He was not there to shop for the diyas at Lal Chowk, neither was he home for the Pujas. The story is graphic in its vivid detail. It is only at the end of the story that we get to know that the father is confined in the hospital. Diwali is the celebration of light, light that dispels the gloom of darkness and disbelief. The child and the mother had lit the colourful diyas at home as part of the annual ceremonies. The mother carried the child to light the diya at the hospital. She firmly believed that her husband would return home, the father too assured the daughter he would be back soon, but the little child was too overwhelmed with emotions to react with the discovery of her father’s ailment. She wept and tears rolled from her eyes. The story has an open ending; it is uncertain whether the father returns home after Diwali or whether the family ever gets to see the father again, but there is a lingering hope that makes us pray for them. It is hope that helps us to face life’s oddest challenges and hold on till the end. The lights of the diwali are symbolic. They are lighted in hope for peace and prosperity and above all in faith and love. The mother lighted the diya with her faith, her red benarasi and black mangalsutra too bears this faith that moved her. The story shows a young girl who has a heart bigger than her body. The story reminds us of many other people who are facing similar tough battles and going through ordeals and trials of faith. One can just wish for the light and goodness to shine on and prevail upon darkness. The story leaves us with a singular feeling of hope, all that we can say at the end is ‘Let there be light. Let it shine.’