A floral Diwali at Cherrybrook

By Prema Krishnan

Reading Time: 3 minutes


The year 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. With the COVID pandemic hitting us in different ways, it’s been a reminder to each of us of our values and purpose in life. While we are pacing through the new normal today, but the spirit of Diwali was not dampened!

Like every Diwali before, The Hindu Council organised flower deco to be on display in the Cherrybrook Community Village from 10 to 15 Nov with the help of a few local, over-enthusiastic volunteers like me and few of my friends.

Anitha Gopi from the Mahima organisation took the initiative for the activity since she was approached by the Hindu Council.  The preparation commenced much in advance with volunteer-designer Sajeev Menon doing a base design for the flower deco arrangement. It took about an hour for Sajeev to design the rangoli on paper with exemplary artistic skill.

It was a working day, yet every contributor had child-like enthusiasm to spare a few hours and promote a mood of festivity within the community.

Another volunteer Dinesh Ramachandran visited the Flemington Markets to pick the best fresh flowers in the wee of the hours of dawn, at about 5 am. The flowers included different coloured roses, lilies, and other seasonal flowers.

Anitha collected some leaves from her garden to add a touch of green to the mix. She also graciously opened her home to volunteers to gather and commence the task of segregating different coloured flowers and petals.

At 7 pm in the evening, we were ready to take the meticulously packed and boxed flowers to the Cherrybrook Community Village for the final arrangement. We arrived at the Village exuding excitement and energy to begin laying out the flower rangoli bed.

As we worked on the base, the design evolved with our creativity running wild. Anitha was inspired to run to the nearby Indian store a couple of times to grab some coloured lentils to add to the design.

The entire process took about 2 hours. There were shoppers pausing to look, others stopped by for a chat and some asked about the story behind the floral Diwali design. They appreciated the creativity being laid out and loved the vibrant colours.

The activity definitely created positive unrest in our locality, the best gift one could give this Diwali season.

I’m grateful to all the volunteers (Mrs Anitha Gopi, Mrs Nayana Menon, Mrs Latha Sudhir, Mrs Minu Madhusoodhanan, Mrs Uma Sunil, Mrs Prasida Dinesh, Mrs Sreeja Gopal, Mrs Deepa Menon. We were also joined by a couple of partners like Mr Biju P Nair, Mr Mahesh Menon, Mr Dinesh Ramachandran, and Mr Sajeev Menon) and the Cherrybrook community for supporting us in bringing out the feeling of Diwali.

Diwali tends to bring to the surface the important things within each of us, and our intent was to strengthen the bond with the local community by sharing a design with a joyful message – Spread the light. Spread the positivity. Spread the smiles. Spread the love.

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