Diwali is just around the corner and I am sure many of you are getting ready to celebrate it with the usual enthusiam and spirit.

This Diwali, I am inviting you to do something a little different.

To most of us Diwali has always been about celebrating all the bounty that is given to us – as businessmen close their books to start a new year or as we paint our homes or buy new clothes, as we say prayers to welcome Laksmi into our houses, it is all about celebrating our abundance and our families. We are a culture rich in spirit and soul and I think Diwali always brings that forth. So this year, in addition to all that is already mentioned, I am planning to do something different, and I hope you will too: Think of one way, one tradition, one small thing you can to do pay your abundance forward. Help out one person who needs something without expecting anything back at all – help a poor person feed themselves for a day, help a child learn to read, help an elderly person by offering to take them where they need to go. It doesnt have to cost you a penny or a paisa but it should mean something – abundance isnt just about wealth, it is about spirit. How will you share your abundance? Tell me…

Here is what I am going to do — In addition to taking food to the local soup kitchen here and helping raise money for a fellow-writer who is ill, here is what I am going to offer my readers – I am giving away one-free phone mentoring session with me (30 mintues) on how to become a food writer and one free food writing class (to be held in January 2009). All you have to do is either post a comment here about how you are paying it forward or send me an email. All the entries received will be added to a magic hat (okay a ziploc bag) and my nine-year-old will pull out the two winners – one for the phone session and one for the class.  The winners will be announced on this site on October 28th, Diwali day.

So in advance, I wish all my readers and friends a very happy and prosperous Diwali. I hope the New Year will bring you all that your heart desires!

                             A meal for Diwali


Best wishes

Monica Bhide

You may also like...


  1. Monica, you’re so inspiring. I’ve been debating a give away and think I’ll pay it forward with a book give away.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Monica, this is lovely. I will bring over something delicious to the new couple who just moved in down the block. I’ve been thinking about it for too long, but you’ve inspired me to stop thinking and start cooking. Have a wonderful Diwali!

  3. It’s still warm here in the Bay Area, and there was a group of homeless men sitting on a street that I was walking down, looking uncomfortably hot. I continued past a small grocery store and decided to go in and buy them some water, and when I returned to give them the bottles, I’ve never seen faces light up so fast!

  4. Peace does begin at the table, Monica. Many thanks. I’ll be posting your Diwali invitation on my blog.

  5. I will fill out an application form to be a volunteer companion to an elderly person that I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

  6. hi monica,

    Shubh Deepavali to u and your family,

    will my entry (in zip log)be counted or person must be from America…

  7. You inspired me Monica with your thoughtful post. Thank you.

  8. What a FABULOUS idea Monica. Ok so (secretly) I do hope I win ! But really Monica, I think it sure will be a fabulous gift to anyone who receives it .

    As for paying it forward….just like you I think sharing and teaching is my thing. And sharing our traditions with the world one recipe, one festival and sharing and teaching our customs by talking about them is very rewarding for me via CuisineCuisine.com

    Wishing you & your family A Very Happy Diwali & A Prosperous New Year ! Do come visit me in Chicago…we have to get together one of these days !

  9. Hi Monica,
    I just found your blog when I was doing a search on writing food essays. I love your pay-it-forward idea — very inspiring!

  10. Hi Monica, I just found your blog when I was doing a search on writing food essays. I love your pay-it-forward idea — very inspiring!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.