Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Deepavali: Diwali and the Shinning Lights.

It's in the wee hours of the Deepavali morning and tomorrow is yet another public holiday, here in the land of manufactured harmony and repackaged values. The Indian community will be busy celebrating and the rest of us will join in the fun and games because, well we just need an excuse to celebrate something and actually not go to work, school and the other places where we normally spend most of our days.

For me, Deepavali or Diwali is a wonderful time. My biggest clients outside the Saudi community are Indian and so its up to the usual sending out of greetings. This being an Indian festival, there a variety of dates. South Indians celebrate Deepavali, North Indians celebrate Diwali a day later and the Nepaleese celebrate the same festival another day later. However, its the same festival - the Festival of Lights and like Christmas in the land of the retailer and advertiser, Diwali has lost it's religious overtones and become a festival that everyone celebrates.

So, I suppose I should comment on this? Not really, I'm not as theological as I was back in my youth and for a trained anthropologist, I have remarkably low interest in symbolism other than the signs before numbers on my bank statements. Somehow, as you get older, your mind becomes more focused on basic things.

I guess, I like Diwali because there's alot of talk about light and having light in ones life. We're all interested in having light rather than dark. Thanks to the invention of electronic lights, barn owls like me are able to get things done at night and substitute our sleep paterns during the day when the normal go about their business.

Light is one of those wonderful things if it cuts through the darkness of the usual bullshit that pollutes the life we live. Take a look at the financial markets. Right now you have loads and loads of clever people comming up with all sorts of theories as to why the market is moving this way or that. Very clever people like the former CEO's of Meril Lynch and Citigroup were so clever that they managed to lose an announced US$20 billion between them by lending money to people who could not pay it back and to show how clever they really are ....they both managed to negotiate themselves a servence pay ranging in the hundreds of millions to each of them. Clearly this is clever, because you manage to get rewarded when you fail as well as when you succeed.

Of course, the ordinary people will be clouded by loads of arguments made up by the clever people. But I suppose that must be ok, since ordinary people merely put up the money for the schemes of the clever people. Really, it does not take a genious to figure out the major problems with the world economy. American's are up to their eye-balls in bad debts and have no savings. Chinese on the other hand save alot and place all the money they make in American T-Bonds - which means, Chinese savings are in actual fact subsidising American spending. Now, it looks like that cycle is not about to last and the world is definately in for some interesting economic times - no matter what the clever people out there tell you.

Its a wonderful thing to have light. It allows you to see things more clearly and when you can see more clearly, you act more clearly. Now isn't that something you should go for!

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