“Solace” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi


Diwali, they said

It was Diwali, they said.
We wished each other a happy one
With smiles pasted on our faces
But tears welling up in our eyes.
It was touchscreen, they said
But our arms failed to evoke
The lingering feeling of a warm hug.
The festival of lights, they said.
But the fairy lights didn’t delight
Like the sparkle in their eyes.
Welcome with colours, they said.
But the hues in the Rangoli
Didn’t match the shimmer
Of their saree and kurta.
It was festive, they said.
But perhaps, just a farce
With us not being together.


Barkha Shah is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist based out of Bangalore, India. Her work experience spans the journalistic field, a start-up and a global digital marketing agency. “I have studied and worked both in the US and in India and am currently kept occupied primarily by the mischief of my child.” Her poem was inspired by the recent COVID-19 impaired celebration of Diwali, a festival of lights.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.