Diwali is Festival of Lights! And to celebrate this festival we went to Seattle center organised by Sammamish Vedic Cultural Center. It was raining heavily with chilly winds but we were in full zest to get the homely touch. At the Seattle Center the entire area was filled with people, hanging lanterns and lighted Diyas. The whole atmosphere was colourful. It was a treat to get everything under one roof from melodious music, classical & folk dances, tasty Indian Food to painting own Diyas, putting Mehendi on hand and exploration with clay.
Without missing a second I was ready with my Moleskine Pocket sketchbook to capture these amazing moments. I went upstairs to get the entire view while my family explored other areas. It was my first time to sketch the happening crowd. Kids were running around wearing ethnic dresses, ladies with jewellery and sarees, the aroma of tasty food around and moreover crowd from all over the world. It’s beautiful to see this cultural amalgamation in home away from home!
The other attraction with long queues in the hall was Bajrang Bali Chai Stall. Being cold I too grabbed a spot in the queue to taste the hot Chai (tea) with cardamom and ginger flavour. It was soothing to the throat and yes! My second sketch.
The wait was worth for the hot chai! Continuous performances were going on the stage of Bharatnatyam, Rajasthani folk dance and songs by kids and adults. Another catchy stall was Flat Indian bread which was prepared and served hot, then and there. It was great to watch ladies making these Chapatis(flat bread) so effortlessly and efficiently with beautiful smile on their face. The aroma of butter on whole wheat flat bread was mouthwatering. Cameras were placed and everything was displayed live-making of Indian Flat bread.
It was a pleasure to watch the Bharatnatyam dance. I did quick poses of the dance with Tombow brush. The rhythmic steps, vocals and perfect performance by performers was completely mesmerising. There was display of Madhubani paintings by kids and all painting materials available, to try on. My daughter painted her own Diyas and enjoyed Madhubani art. The smell of food was calling our tummy and we had delicious food. Before heading home I again went on the first floor and did an aerial view of audience watching the performance.
It was great Saturday afternoon, a complete festive mood, meeting new people and capturing all memorable moments at Seattle Center. Inspite of having no mood to leave the place we headed home carrying all memories of homeland right here in Seattle. The rhythms of foot steps by dancers are still lingering and ringing in the ears!!