31 May 2010

Once upon a time...

in a far away land.. the bright full moon smiled upon a little village that sprawled on a hillside, overlooking a lush paddy field.

Little stars popped from here and there, not on the sky but on the ground! They were twinkling and even changing their hues.. like a stunning spectrum.

These were not stars.. for stars can never be on the ground. These were lanterns, illumined with bulbs of all types and sizes.. varying from incandescent to LED. They weaved mesmerizing patterns.. like an endless kaleidoscope.

It all began when the entire land was getting ready to celebrate a festival called Wesak, this little village too was no exception. Every year a bunch of youngsters from this village got together and made something special for Wesak. Instead of their usual spot, this time they chose a space lying at the border of the paddy field by the roadside.

The next morning the youngsters went from house to house, from one village to another, to raise funds in little sums. Then they met at the usual spot and planned things out. The following morning the empty spot was no longer empty.

23rd of May

There stood a scaffolding, where the busy youngsters were working eagerly. As the days passed the scaffolding grew more and more.. and was covered in canvas from almost all sides. They didn't want anyone to see their masterpiece until it was completed. They simply wanted to surprise their own village folks, and so didn't mind the inquisitive eyes of their neighboring village.

24th May

The empty scaffolding was no longer empty, for now it housed a frame.

25th May

As time passed, the frame took shape, little by little. The frame was perhaps around 10 feet tall, for it was towering above the youngsters, making them look like midgets. Time to time they reinforced even the scaffolding, so that it can withstand the gushing winds and occasional rains.

25th May

The scaffolding was lonely on the 26th.. for no one visited the site. Perhaps the youngsters declared it as their rest day. But then.. something miraculous happened. As the sun dawned next morning.. the frame was no longer empty.. but seems to have metamorphosed beautifully!

27th May

It was covered in paper.. a light toned paper.. topped with another layer of dark toned paper with elaborate paper cuts. So it seems that 26th wasn't their rest day. They needed a whole day to make these intricate paper cuts. They may have pasted them one by one, with utmost patience. Without patience one can never build a lantern of this magnitude or charisma.

28th May
The lantern metamorphosed once more. And this time it was surrounded by its offspring! A bunch of little lanterns were suspended from the big lantern, like satellites orbiting the Earth.

When the sun sank beneath the horizon, hiding behind the little hill, the moon slowly rose to the zenith and smiled upon this little village. The lantern dazzled with twinkling lights.. going on and off in vivid tones. But the lantern was not alone.

Can you guess what that brightest star on the lower right is?
The lights below are mere reflection, upon the puddles collected on the paddy field.

Lanterns big and small, ones and twos and dozens, of all shapes and sizes and colors, joined together with our protagonist to beautify this moonlit night.

The brightest star above is the very lantern these youngsters all made together, and presented to their villagers and their neighboring villagers (like us) every night.. until last night. Today afternoon they took everything apart leaving only the scaffolding. The site will be soon empty, but it would definitely await yet another endeavor on another festival day.


PS:  The reason why most of these pics were small is cause of the distant (prolly 30-40 meters) from my cam to the lantern. This lantern was on the other side of the paddy field, but at a distant I could clearly see from my window. Couldn't resist recording their earnest efforts daily with the help of my paparazzi cam. ^__^

PPS: oh and my own decor (which is quite humble and simple and nothing close to this magnificent lantern) will come up with my next episode. =D


  1. Beautiful! I love how you've captured every step of the construction... Good work by the youngsters, they've done really well! :D

  2. That’s a great entry to the wesak series!

    I was thinking that I will get to see a close up shot of your neighbor kid’s lantern :( anyway it was way too far from you na? What to do then :D

    I guess that brightest star also is the same lantern. Am I correct?

    PS: too bad that you missed the Kandy tour. Nevertheless hope we can see some exciting posts ahead.

  3. Harumi..Lovely post. You are a wonderful storyteller! Looking forward to a pic of your wesak lantern. :)

  4. There is always a hard work before celebration. No pain no gain.

  5. Thanks a lot everyone! ^__^

    @ Chavie: hehe.. that's cause I thought it'd sound boring if I simply added those pics the size of thumbnails. Ya, they really toiled through all these days. Wish I had a close up of the lantern.. cuz it looked so beautiful, especially at night. *sigh*

    @ Anjana: Ya, I too was planning to do so but somehow couldn't make it. We have to go a long way around to reach that village unless we cross over the paddy field (which is a short cut), but due to occasional rains the narrow path gets a lil slippery. So we didn't dare to cross over at night.

    BTW there were like 3-4 kids working on the lantern and they aren't our direct neighbors. Cause even though they live across the vast paddy field we're actually two separate villages lying side by side.

    And yep, your guess is right! =D

    Ya, I do regret that. But there's more events coming up, especially the Esala Perahera. Hopefully I won't miss it this time.

    @ Spring: really? hehe.. oh ya, you'll see more than one pic of my decor in my next post. =D

    @ Rain: So true. I'm sure they're all pleased with their efforts. ^__^

  6. Wow! Your random pics are awesome. I saw the kadupul flower other day. That was something special.

    Ohh your sky diary lol … cumulus humilis/Cirrocumulus/Stratocumulus etc … I had put my jaws back in after trying to pronounce them .. =D. Wonder why they can’t put simple names like apple cloud/bunny cloud etc … hehehe . Anyway it’s a nice subject I should read more about it too. :D

    Looks like you are a big Bollywood fan ha? Don’t get disappoint with the high ticket prices and for not showing on TV etc. I think you should keep your spy network on their feet. Definitely all the Bollywood stars are going visit Kandy within next few days. …LOL

  7. Thanks Anjana. Oh ya, it was my first time seeing a Kadupul, one of our neighbors brought it for us.

    Ya, most cloud IDs are tongue twisters but they do have a good meaning to all these names. If I find time, will do a post about it in future.

    No way! lol I used to be a Bollywood fan but that was a long time ago. =D Um.. not sure if they'd visit Kandy.. cuz they must be having tight schedules I'm sure.

  8. Nice post. Love the way you have presented it. waiting to see your own wesak lantern/decor :)

  9. Thanks K.

    Oh ya, I'm half way done with it. Will try to post it tomorrow. ^__^

  10. Wow! You really are a creative writer! Your blog is one of the best things I've found on the net.

  11. hehe.. Thanks Amila but you ought to see my blogroll.. these blogs are dozen times better than mine. ^__^


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