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Lumen light
Lux light
Luc-ere to shine
Lustr-are to illuminate
Luna moon


We illuminate our homes on Diwali. On that night, the Earth flaunts its billion diyas to the sky and its stars. “Look,” she beams proudly, “today, I am brighter than you!”


The stars are luminous bodies. People who shine similarly are called luminaries.


In the ancient times, books were hand-written. A few special books were decorated with ornate initial letters, arabesque page borders or paintings illustrating the text. Some of them were even embellished with gold and silver! These books were called ‘illuminated’ manuscripts. Only the rich could afford them. The job of illuminating a book was called limning and the painstaking artists who did it were called ‘limners’.


A person who loves collecting matchboxes is called ‘phillumenist’ (phil-, love). Rachit used to be one. Just the sight of a matchbox would bring such luster to his eyes that most people could not help smiling. But then, something happened—nobody knows what—but he has morphed into a tired-looking man with lackluster eyes, dead voice and zero excitability even towards a matchbox.


Illuminate: (v) to light up; to decorate with lights, or in the case of manuscripts, with bright colours or gold and silver.

Origin: L in-, in + lumen, light


Flaunt: (v) to show-off.


Luminous: (adj) emitting or reflecting light, shining.

Origin: L lumen,light


Luminary: (n) a person who has achieved eminence in a specific field.

Origin: L lumen, light => ‘ person who is a source of light (inspiration) to others’


Arabesque: (adj) decorated richly with patterns of flowers, leaves and geometric figures; (n) a ballet pose in which the dancer stands on one leg, her upper body parallel to the ground, her arm extended in the front and her other arm and other leg extended fully backward.

Origin: Arab + -esque => ‘decorated in the style of Islamic art’


Embellish: (v) to decorate, make more beautiful.


Limn: (v) to draw, outline, paint or decorate (a manuscript).

Origin:L luminen, to illuminate (manuscripts).


Painstaking: (adj) very, very careful and hardworking; taking pains or trouble.

Origin: Pains+ taking


Luster: (n) shine; soft reflected light; sheen. The thing that has lustre is called lustrous.

Origin: L lustrare, to make shiny


Morph: (v) transform

Origin: Shortening of metamorphose

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