Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Diwali: Over the years

Happy Diwali Reader,

Here I am, sitting in a small cubicle, staring at a screen which if I don’t, will also make no big difference to the world. So, for a tiny break, I pause to write this as I peep outside of the distant window at this time in the dusk, I already see the sky lightening up by the flowery crackers. The sky outside is different today. It is unusual unlike the ambience inside this room, which looks exactly the same every day.

This sky reminds me of the good times, of my halcyon days when the only major issue of this day was whether the crackers would long last till the night. It was also the time when all my family members, scattered all around the country, gathered to celebrate this in all good spirits. With all the shopping, gifts, sweets, new cloths, lights, lamps and colors, of the Rangoli and the good old family jokes, Diwali was complete. Really, I  mean, if Sooraj Barjatya witnessed those Diwalis with us, the togetherness of the family would have definitely made him write a sequel to Hum Saath Saath Hain.

 The preparation of this day always began well in advance. Of course, there are so many things to buy after all. The most important of them, lights: Chinese running lights, to decorate the whole house with, candles, clay lamplights and Crackers. Yes, crackers which came in colorful boxes with pictures of Bollywood actors or Superheroes. I miss those big Bazaars, the stalls which were put up every year. They did offer great discounts too.

For all day long, under the bright sun, we used to keep the crackers on the terrace to dry up. No trace of dampness was allowed to hurdle our fun on the Diwali night.

In all our bright new cloths, we would first perform the traditional Lakshmi Pooja. After which, the ladies placed the lamplights in every corner of the house. And, then the fireworks used to begin.  The biggest cracker was always preserved for the grand finale. The last cracker to burn would be the most unique of all, which lasts for the longest.

The Diwali hangover used to continue even after our schools reopened, when I met my friends after the vacation and discuss and boast how many and which all crackers each one of us burnt. Someone would say, “Oh! I burnt a chain of 1000” and someone else would say,”That’s all! Dude, I burnt a 5000”.

What I miss the most these days is the get-togethers, and receiving mails or greeting cards, full of good wishes.  

And this year, I will wish that people actually celebrate Diwali in their true spirits and may “Happy Diwali” don’t end up to be a mere facebook or whatsapp message.

Have a safe and an awesome Diwali.

- Ashish


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