The Lost Light

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 43; the forty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is “LIGHT”

There was only one diya.

Sitara turned the old cupboard inside out, but to her dismay, there was only one diya.

Diwali was here. She always lit three diyas. Always. Ever since she could light a match, and her mother allowed her to.

Her husband came inside, and saw the mess the room was in.

“What’s wrong, dear?”

She eyed him suspiciously. Could he have hidden her most prized possessions?

“Where are my other two diyas?”

He looked dumbstruck.

“I don’t know. Where do you usually keep them?” he countered.

She turned away and began to check the cupboard again.

“It was here. It was always here. Not one. Not two. But three diyas. The three things I care most about.”

He walked beside her, and held her close.

“Don’t fret. Let us go buy some new ones. It’ll be okay, Situ.”

She pushed him away and sat down on the bed.

“You don’t understand. Nothing will replace those diyas. Nothing! It’s not about new ones, it’s about what the old ones meant.”

He sat down with her, and pulled her into a hug as she broke into tears.

“It’ll be okay,” he said again, trying to reassure her. “I didn’t mean to upset you, Situ. Maybe they are in some other room. We’ll search and find them okay?”

And they searched. They turned every cupboard inside out. They climbed up into the dusty attic. The Diwali cleaning they had done that morning went for a toss. Yet they couldn’t find the missing diyas.

As she sat down on the couch, giving up on their search, he waited for her to tell what he was sure she would tell him.

“When I was a kid, there were no streetlights on our street. Mom… mom always lit three lamps on Diwali. Always. No one else did. They were all from other religions, so they never lit diyas. They didn’t see the need. One… one Diwali night, the power went. On that night, she hadn’t light any. Out of oil, she said. When she saw I was sad, she… she decided to go to the nearby shop to buy some.”

He felt her shivering, and sat down with her, held her hand.

“All… all I could hear after… a thud… a scream… her scream. I.. I could see Dad… he ran out… he threw the gate open and ran. I… I wanted, but my feet… my feet they wouldn’t move. I was crying… was calling out… calling her name. But no… no one heard me. The room spun… I don’t know when.. when I woke up after. Dad… he was holding… holding my hand. I was… in a white room. He said Mom was gone.”

He held her as she continued to cry.

“It’s okay. You couldn’t have done anything. It’ll be okay.”

“What… what if I hadn’t been sad? She’d… she’d not have gone. She might.. might be alive. Be with… with me. Paresh, I… I killed her.”

“Don’t talk nonsense, okay?” he said, shaking her hard.

“Maybe good people go to heaven first, dear. I know it’s a cliché, but it could be true. Your mother was a good woman, a good mother. She’s looking at you now, and feeling so damn proud. You’re a wonderful mother too, and you look after Anjali so well. Please don’t blame yourself. She wouldn’t want that.”

She looked at him, looked at him like she had when they first met. She gave him a watery smile.

“You’re right. I’m being silly.”

“No. You weren’t. You were scared. It meant… it meant so much to you. I could see that. Come. Let’s go buy new diyas. It’s the light that matters, not the diya.”

She nodded.

“Yes. Yes… we… we shall buy… new ones. But not… not today okay? It’s dark already. Today, I’ll light just this one.”

He let her go, and she got up. She walked to the washroom to freshen up, while he got busy rearranging the cupboards. When they were done, they heard the gate open. Their daughter Anjali was back from the neighbor’s home. She smiled as Sitara came out with the single diya, and headed for the garden.

She kept the diya on the Tulsi mandal, and closed her eyes. They prayed, and Paresh saw her smile.

When she opened her eyes, he smiled too.

“What?” she demanded.

“I can see three diyas. Your mom would still be happy.”

She looked surprised.

“One diya on the mandal, and two in your eyes,” he said, hugging her.

And at that moment, standing beside her husband and daughter, nothing felt lost to her.

She had found her light again.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 26

(3rd Nov, 2013)

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

32 thoughts on “The Lost Light”

  1. That’s beautiful Leo.. I loved this story. The character of Paresh is heart warming.
    I’m glad Sitara found her Light with her beautiful family 🙂

    Happy Deepavali Leo! 🙂

  2. “One diya on the mandal, and two in your eyes” Such a beautiful thing to say to someone 🙂
    Lovely story, warmed the very core of my heart. Wonderful take on ‘Light’.

    PS: Happy Diwali! 😀

  3. ur an awesome writer!!

    i loved the way u built up the climax, to the attachment for 3 diyas and then the anti climax too with sitara not letting paresh go out to buy the diyas fearing the same fate as that which happened to her mother….(i don’t know how u meant it to be…but that’s what i read)


  4. बेहद सुन्दर और मार्मिक रचना
    सही बात कही आपने “प्रकाश दिए से ज्यादा मायने रखता हैं”
    हमारी जिंदगी में हमारे अपने ये प्रकाश लाते हैं

    • Thanks, Cifar, for liking my story! 🙂

      I don’t know where you read it, but I don’t say “people of other religions don’t like what she did”. I mention that people of other religions in the neighborhood did not usually light a diya during Diwali.

    • Hi Geeta. Welcome to my blog and glad you loved the story 🙂 Thanks for the award too, would drop by soon and see what it is about. Cheers.

  5. Leo,I always visualised you as an excellent poetry writer. Today your talent as a story writer has come to the fore. Superb emotions prove you to be a story teller par excellence. Best of luck for BAT.

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