Down Under, Diwali is celebrated in Indian-dominated pockets, like Parramatta in New South Wales. Diwali shows are arranged and celebrated with colours of music and food. Unfortunately, this year Diwali was at a time when exams are just round the corner. So, going to Parramatta (net travelling of 50-60 mins from Sydney CBD) was out of question for me. Nevertheless, tradition had to be upheld and celebrated, so I planned a modest Diwali at home.
The night before, I made 'diyas' (lamps) out of the flour I had at home, and made some cotton wicks. By next evening, at the time of Laxmi Pujan, they had dried and hardnened and were fit for purpose. I performed Ganesh Puja first and then proceeded with Laxmi Pujan.
This was quite a make-shift affair. My mom had sent me a picture of Goddess Laxmi as an email attachment, which now was the wallpaper on my laptop. This was used for pictorial representation for the Puja. The home-made diyas furnished the sides of the laptop and the touch-pad acted as a place for placing some dollar bills (since Laxmi is Goddess of Wealth in Hindu mythology and wealth is worshipped on this day).
I felt strange as well as happy performing a Puja like this, but then, thats how you achieve maximization through minimum resources. I felt glad I achieved it in my own small measure!