Diwali is truly called the festival of lights. It’s the brightest of all Indian festivals. It is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in every household too. In my childhood, the most wonderful part of Diwali were crackers and sweets. We used to live in a Government Complex and according to our family tradition, Diwali was marked with the worship of Goddess Kali along with Goddess Lakshmi. But the customs were more or less the same. However, all of our relatives were invited along with other friends and we together celebrated the festival. Lighting and decorating the house was an important part and the preparation had to be begun at least one week earlier. Mom used to clean-up the house, I and my sister helped her all the way. There was a condition by mom that who would help her most, eventually was rewarded with a box of chocolates. By this trick, she managed to coax the maximum help from both of us. Quite innovative..huh! But the fun was, Papa used to gift another box to one who had done less work. Those days still bring the smile on my faces.
I was very fond of crackers but, my sister Pinky, was very much afraid of them. Till date, she loves to watch the fireworks more than actually lighting them up. All the other cousins were quite brave in this regard and used to taunt her, including me. A terrible incident happened when once I was making fun of her while lighting a ‘chakra’ cracker. Absent-mindedly, she stepped over the cracker and her left foot got badly burnt. Immediately Baba called up his friend, Dr. Dutta and poor me was taken to task for being so careless….that was a good lesson for me that we should never play with fire.
These days, diyas and candles are replaced mostly by gorgeous LED lamps.Though mom always places diyas in front of our house, the other parts have LED lamps. Nowadays, Diwali is marked with the stupendous task of supervising my little niece who has a penchant for playing with crackers. (I sometimes really think whether she has acquired this genetically from me!). But Diwali is fun still, in every way.
The festival has remained more or less the same for me even after so many years. Of course, we have changed our residence, my sister now lives in a different city and I’m no more a little child but an office-going young man. But the happiness, the feelings and the joyousness of lighting diyas and candles have remained unchanged. My mom still makes sweets, and friends are invited. But I’m calorie conscious now and only pick up a few to her much regret. My sister tries her best to join us every year and most of the times, she succeeds. That really doubles up our happiness. After all, a festival is best spent with near and dear ones. Perhaps it is the one and only festival that truly marks the triumph of light over darkness….goodness over evil. In every house of this country, no matter how rich or poor they are, candles are lighted and everybody tries to forget all sadness.
It’s truly a fantastico festival, in every respect.
Image Credit: Myself