There is something about Diwali. It makes me all happy and warm inside. It livens up my spirit and makes me want to decorate the house with tiny lights and fragrant candles, makes me want to clean and cook and dress up for the evening. It makes me want to light up crakers, just some … as a token, for the spirit of Diwali. It keeps the child in me living …
I don’t know why Diwali does this to me exactly … maybe it’s got to do with fond remembering from childhood. Our anu chacha’s enthusiasm was infectious and got us all kids excited. He is the one who raised the funds from my dad, grandad and nani. Then he would add his own contribution and we would have a huge corpus for Diwali shopping.
The way we went cracker shopping from wholesale shops in Agra, then laid them all out and admired them before lighting them up. The way I was so possessive about Anaars, my favourite fire cracker; and selfishly sneaked 1-2 only for me.
It was fun to decorate our house with flowers and impatiently wait as our driver and anu chacha put the lights all over the house. It was exciting to place flower petals in a rangoli and place diyas around it. It was fun struggling to make the candles stand with my siblings as the hot wax dripped on our hands; and then fight against the wind to keep them lighted. And after everything was lighted it was fun to run into the street and look up at our house and sigh at the gorgeous view.
It was fun fighting with the neighborhood kids trying to steal our patakas. It was fun to put the anaars in a row and light 3-4 at the same time; people struggling with their ‘reel wala’ cameras to take that perfect shot. Boys displayed their bravado by jumping over chakris and blowing off red ladis in their hands. It was fun to cringe and cover my ears as I saw sparks from a bullet bomb about to go off. It was fun to turn around and wait for the sutli bomb to blow off and then feel my body jerk with the impact.
It was delightful to take a break from all the cracker bursting and have a hearty meal. Hot pooris being served by mom with me occasionally helping out. And Aloo, Paneer sabzi, boondi ka raita, dahi vada to go with it.
It was fun to finally go to our terrace and light all the rockets and our special items. Special items were the most expensive ones … parachutes and umbrella crackers which we saved for the very end. Sort of like a grand finale … from the terrace we would call out … “mummy, dadi … jaldo aao, hum special items jalane waale hain” …
It was fun to discover that even after lighting crackers for hours, till we were tired and spent with aching limbs; we still had some crackers remaining … it was exhilarating to realize that we would be able to light crackers the next day as well …
The next day after Diwali we would collect all the paper and cardboard, empty out the contents of the burnt crackers (barood) and set it all on fire … then waited for our painstakingly collected barood to go off in a huge puff of smoke and feel as if we had achieved something extraordinary… a pleasure other kids were incapable of, lighting just their usual crackers … we were the great minds
Diwali is this and more for me. Being away from home for so many years and not being able to be with my family for the past few Diwalis, I’ve realized it’s also about being with your dear ones and sharing the love, joy and excitement … and creating cherished memories. It’s about smiling, rejoicing, living for yourself, lighting up your life. Diwali 2012, the first one after shaadi (even though not with our family) was wonderful with Deepak … together, we have created and captured memories we will cherish for years to come 🙂
Here is wishing all the readers a very happy and joyous Diwali! Hope you all had fun!