Another year, another Diwali. For everyone, Deepavali is a festival where people burst crackers, eat gujiya and chakli, go to parties, and basically take time off and relax. Each household does a lot of preparation for Diwali. There is the massive yearly cleaning, where all the furniture is moved around so that each nook and cranny is cleaned to be spotless. There is the chakli-chivda preparation phase, where the moms busy themselves in the kitchen. Then there is the immeasurable amount of sweets that flow in and out of the house (yum!).
And of course, the friends! We meet and greet, entertain and laugh with our friends. We burst a lot of crackers with them too. When we were kids, that’s how we found out who was the biggest scaredy-cat.
Diwali, for me, is slightly different. While we do all of the above, we do not celebrate it the same way, and rather we celebrate it in a significant way. Our very own personal way.
Diwali is the one festival where we make time for each other. I am the youngest at home, so everybody is usually working except me, and we hardly have time to talk to each other. Every Diwali, my mother manages to drag me home from the hostel (I mostly come without much persuasion), and each year, we have a memorable Diwali. The Lakshmi Poojan day is when we have the most fun because that’s when all the servants disappear and we have the entire house to ourselves, that means extra chores for everybody, but the fun we have amidst all that makes up for it.
During the day, both my parents attend the pooja at their hospitals, while my sister and I go crazy, in general. The afternoon is when we get down to do the tasks. Rangoli is one thing that bonds my sister and me together. We have great fun when making it, we laugh like crazy, and each year, we try to come up with designs better than the previous year.
Then there is the actual pooja. We do a simple pooja at our place, no fancy stuff, and after that, we light up the entire house. No corner is left unlit. Diyas, candles, scented candles(it’s an attempt to attract Goddess Lakshmi in whatever way possible). Then we visit our relatives. It’s been a few years since we stopped bursting crackers. So the rest of the evening is spent talking, laughing, and cursing the town’s cracker-crazy population.
Diwali at home is not all that spectacular but what really matters is that we get to spend quality time in the presence of our family, the ones who truly love us, the ones who truly matter. That’s not just a time frame that we share. It’s part of our lives, part of our souls. On that one evening, we don’t feel like we are a family about to be torn apart by careers and geographic distances. On that one evening, we are one. And in that one evening we make a silent promise to each other, to be around no matter what. To keep in touch whatever the lifestyle. To be a family, till death do us apart.