Posted November 5th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Deepavali….the festival which has my name….
Its been several years since I really celebrated Diwali…In fact for the last couple of Diwali’s I have been in US celebrating it by having dinner at an Indian restaurant as a reminder that it is Diwali…and also for the fact that most Indian restaurants serve some kind of complimentary sweets. This year was no different …went to the local Woodlands, had a dosa…ate the complimentary mithai and went back home.

The Indian websites are spewing good cheer and festival sentiments…Sulekha has been publishing several people Diwali memoirs. The Indian Diaspora is nostalgic about sweets, new clothes, lights, fireworks, and simply the festival atmosphere….Somehow Diwali has lost its charm for me. I am counting it as a part of “growing up”.

Sweets are nice but I always found that at the end of the Diwali week we had lots and lots of sweets in the house which none of would eat/ My mother would ask us to finish it off …we would be saturated with sweets and then we had to forcefully feed it to the guests in our house so that the sweets would finish before it went bad…Luckily we had a good supply of guests that frequented our house….

New clothes…stopped buying new clothes for Diwali a long time ago. Somehow figured that it was better to wait for a couple more months and get one for my birthday

Crackers: loved that at a point of time. Then grew up and realized that they
1) Cause noise pollution
2) It is literally “blowing up” money
3) Made by child laborers especially in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu
So stopped that custom as well

In spite of this I must admit that there was something special about the Diwali atmosphere…most people around looked good, smiled a lot more. My colony transformed into a magical land with almost every house having its own lighting in the balcony. I remember going around the colony with Priti and Priyanka and giving rankings to the best lighted house.

Undoubtedly the best thing about Diwali was that it got as a vacation…In our house Diwali preparation consisted of more that “spring cleaning” and “sweet making”. We had to go on our annual Diwali trip. Both my parents loved traveling and so most Diwali’s found us going off to some trip or another. Gave us a chance to see Diwali in other states as well. One of my best memories of Deepavali is driving in rural Rajasthan/Punjab border and seeing all the village houses lit up with the same kind of diyas. Or lighting crackers in Delhi. And what I loved best about Diwali vacation was the fact that even after it ended Christmas vacation was just around the corner…

Whew I seemed to have written myself into a Diwali mood

Happy Diwali people…And let there be light!!

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