Designer candles replace earthy diyas in UP's holy cities

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Ayodhya, Nov 7 (UNI) Traditions have been given a go by even in the holy cities of Uttar Pradesh this Diwali.

The temple city of Ayodhya, common logic would say, would be lit with the traditional diyas on the festival. But that is not the case this time as designer candles and Chinese electronic lights have replaced the earthy diya.

The new trend has created woes for potters, who were hoping for bulky returns this festive season.

'Diyas,' which were lit on the home return of Lord Ram after 14 years of exile, converted the whole atmosphere with happiness and joy. It is since then these 'diyas' are being considered the expression of happiness that spreads the ray of hope and welfare to all.

But the same ray of hope seems to be fading for potters of this holy city. The same 'diyas,' which are meant to lighten others house, have now left potters' huts in darkness.

The skyrocketing prices of ghee is another reason for decline in the demand of 'diyas.' People are resorting to the much cheaper candles and the long-lasting electronic lights.

Manikchand, a potter of the city, says ''the readymade lightning systems have ruined our business...making 'diyas,' 'kulhad,' and 'garha' is an art, which has started fading in this glamourous world.'' ''Making 'diyas' is not a child's play...we need 'chickni mitti' for it, which is available only on the river sides...besides, we ought to be very careful, as a single pebble in this 'mitti,' destroys the whole item, he underlines.

''Later, the potter dries and fills colours in it...only then do they get ready to be sold in the market.'' The 80-year-old potter adds, '' Besides, the fact that I am in this profession since years, making 'diyas' and idols of the Goddess Lakshmi, I am waiting for the day when the Goddess would shower her blessings on me.'' Another Ramesh Chandra says, ''Nearby 20 potters have left this profession and become saints...it is a wise decision taken on the right time.'' UNI

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