Diwali Festival – A Time For Family Members

Diwali Festival – the word is synonymous with lights, sweets and crackers! Most part of my childhood and teens’ Diwali festival was celebrated at home with a good combination and overdose of all these ingredients. It was a bonus when cousins too dropped in. Couple of times I had burnt my fingers, totally ignorant of safety factors and also too enthusiastic about the whole thing. There was no concept of ‘go green’ Diwali or ‘quiet’ Diwali or ‘pollution effects’ of Diwali. Our innocence extended to damages Diwali celebrations was causing to nature.

Adulthood saw us siblings settled in different parts of the country, assigned with responsible roles in our respective offices. Who gets leave for one whole week to go home and celebrate? Officially leaves were declared for just 1 or 2 days. One has to add more leaves to get a comfortable holiday stay at home, which most often wasn’t sanctioned. Anyways life kept us busy and most often Diwali was celebrated with friends at work place. We would pool in money to buy some crackers which we would burst half heartedly and then may be have a small party.

diwali-2014

Today I have my own family, and I am busy keeping the festive spirits high. What a contrast I see in my children! They want home made sweets, less of sound and air pollution, meaning fewer crackers. Past few years had been quiet Diwalis compared to what I had in my childhood years. This year since my 18 year old is away we are driving all the way to Goa to celebrate Diwali with her. That would mean locking up my own house. Some home made sweets packed for her; I am looking forward to some moments of togetherness of my family there. She still misses home and I don’t want her to be left alone this year.

My Niece’s First Diwali Festival

Yet once in a while I am reminded of my siblings, how they would be enjoying the festival. We are scattered here and there around the world, not just one country. Mind sometimes, races back to past. The memory of one particular Diwali resurfaces in my mind these days very frequently. That was the time when my Niece was just 10 months old. My sis, bro and self somehow managed to get home to celebrate the festival together.

My niece cuddled up to me frightened of all the crackers bursting with loud booms and bangs. This was her first Diwali festival and silly we were so excited for her. What would a 10 month old understand of crackers and sweets! She was the first third generation member of our family then. She was special to us and we were naturally excited. Each of us cuddled her in our arms to comfort her and celebrate with her till she was very tired and fell asleep. That is the most memorable Diwali I spent at home. 

Happy Diwali to all my friends and readers!

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Jayamahal Durga Puja, Bangalore

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