There are few things in life that are as beautiful as a festival that brings everyone together, makes them laugh, smile, make memories and be merry- Christmas, Eid, Hannukah etc- they all do that- bring people together and make people share their love for each other… but for obvious reasons, my favourite is Diwali. Holi is the one I enjoy the most but there is something magical about Diwali.
Every year, my celebrations start off at Dusshera which marks the beginning of the financial year in my community- it implies new shoes, new financial budgets and a day with the family. As kids we used to always end up going to see the Ravana burning but as we grew older, that charm became lesser but it is still a great day- especially as it signals the start of teen-patti, our version of poker.
The 3 weeks leading to Diwali from Dusshera are full of parties, card games, family catch up, celebrations, candles, nuts, crackers, beauty and though the roads are crazy busy, one gets no sleep, everyone is tired, the mood is almost always very uplifting and everyone is joyous- no one cares of religions, no one cares of caste differences, no one cares of anything but wanting to have a good time… it has been 2 years since I was at home, with my mother, with my family for Diwali and I really miss it.
So this year, even though I don’t manage a game of teen-patti, I can’t give my mum a hug, I have no space to make a rangoli of flowers, I am lucky enough to have a few friends coming to spend the evening with me- so far only one, but it could be more.
While doing the weekly grocery shop today, I bought the house knives to mark Dhanteras tomorrow. On Thursday, to mark the occasion I am going to see Alpha & Omega 3D- what better way of doing something than seeing the fruits of the labour by my aunt, brother and the rest of their team before coming home to light a few diyas to mark Chotti Diwali. I have even convinced Ryan that on Saturday, we should go to the office for Goverdhan puja– now I will not be going the whole hog but an agarbatti or two, some dhoop and a teeka on the till should atleast get us blessed by Lakshmiji! But sadly, nothing can replace the hugs from my brothers, the kheer with the family, the jokes, the madness that makes Bhaidooj the festival it is- the only upside to it is that I don’t need to starve myself till I feed my brothers!
In this global world, one has to be thankful for the love of friends, the joys of the internet (to get me images of Laxmi and Ganesh), the telecommunication possible and for all the tiny blessings one has.
Happy Diwali to you. Here’s wishing you a very prosperous year.