Saturday, 10 November 2012

Diwali is here!! Along with the inseparable childhood memoirs ..

As the festival of lights prepares to set in, I cannot but reminisce the lovely time I have had during this occasion as a child. Diwali to me brings an image of my eldest uncle’s home teeming with people. I can almost smell the aromatic ghee that used to tingle my nostrils as my aunts and mom laboriously prepared sweets and savouries. I can hear the chaos and cacophony that my cousins and I created as we ran about the house, sometimes playing, sometimes fighting and sometimes crying if the elder brothers bullied us. We’d get up as early as 4.30 AM on d day, bathe and excitedly receive our new dresses from thatha(my grandfather) who would give it to us after applying a small pinch of turmeric on it.  Once ready, we would go out of the house onto the road to burn away the sparklers and watch them in awe and glee and then hide inside the house with hands tightly clapped to our ears as the relatively elder ones amongst us started bursting the noisy crackers. Rest of the day would go by in visiting neighbours to distribute sweets and receiving them at home in turn.  
Today, the magic that Diwali held for us while we were kids has faded away.  Crackers don’t interest us anymore. A new dress does not mean excitement, what with all of us earning and buying at whim. But I am very glad that we enjoyed those thrills together while it still held its charm and now have those memorable Diwalis to reminisce and laugh about, each time we get together. The things that we enjoy may change with age, but the memories that get created as we outgrow each stage are gifts to cherish forever. They have the power to retain the bonds between people and the ability to bring about that irrepressible smile as we watch similar scenes later on J  

So this time, Diwali for me is an occasion to thank God for blessing me with such wonderful people to spend my life with and for the lovely memories that growing up with them has created. As I pray to God for their welfare and for our sense of oneness to continue, I also ask him to grant me and my cousins the resolve to give the same kind of environment that our parents gave us, to the generation that comes after us. I can already see the kids of my cousins and my sister bonding very well with each other and am very thankful for it.  I strongly wish that it continues and they get to grow in the same ocean of love and oneness that we all grew up in. They must also get a treasure trove of memories to cherish just like we have. That will be the best gift that we can give them during each Diwali.

Let us all thank God for the light in our lives and may we always spread joy by illuminating the lives of people around us. Wish you all a very very happy Diwali !!!


  1. So agree, aarthy.
    Every diwali of mine was a in a different city/house and it was only after I reached high school that we got to spend it with some cousins and family. Cherish those memories even now. This year my kids have said no to crackers!! While one part of me is glad that they are conscious of the environment, the other part is nostalgic :(
    Happy Deepavali to you and your family!

    1. Wow no crackers!! That's really good.
      I think Diwali can still be festive with just lamps,sweets and people :) Only in the south do we have this culture of crackers for Diwali isn't it ..
      Thanks a lot for the wishes!

    2. Actually not aarthy. Crackers are really big here as well. But Sheila Dikshit has "cracked" down bigtime on crackers over the last few years given the delhi pollution. All in a good cause. Its not that easy to buy crackers as well in the city since there are only a couple of designated areas where crackers are sold. I'm not sure how it happens in Chennai any more.

    3. Crackers are still easily available here .. But there are some rules regarding the timing when you can burst them .. Something like only after 4 in the morning till 11 in the night .. Not sure of the details ..
      But its come down here too .. Certainly not like it used to be ..

  2. It is lovely to see the colourful fireworks and easy to get carried away in the spirit that comes when the entire community gathers in full numbers. But, it is equally depressing to see the thick and polluting smoke emanating each time, the colossal waste of resources, the complete mess of the place in the after-math and most importantly the suffering of the asthmatic, ill and old residents this time of the year. There must be some mid-path where we have a token of these lovely colours but seeing to it that it does not affect us in the long run.
    A lovely post, Aarthy. I too remember the days when the entire family would gather at the house of one member of the family and the bonding shared with cousins.

    1. Thanks Uma. And yes, completely agree on the downside. Caution is thrown to the winds too, what with crackers being burst in every nook and corner heedless to the surroundings.
      Having crackers being burst in some common areas where people can go and watch will be a good idea. That will take care of pollution and safety to some extent I think ..

  3. Happy Diwali Aarthy! I love bursting crackers even now! I know pollution is on the rise but it is one day when I actually leave everything behind and join in the merriment....I have many fond memories associated with that festival and I intend to celebrate it just the way it used to be celebrated when I was a kid for the many years to come :)

    1. Thanks and wish you the same!!
      That comment had so much of Divya in it :) Enjoying the happiness in everything no matter what changes :) That is such a wonderful trait worthy of emulation!

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