This was our 6th Diwali after our marriage. Out of these 6 years, I remember we were supposed to observe the festival only 3 times, since rest of the three times there was some death in the family, and as is the custom, we do not celebrate festivals for one whole year after that. Out of these 3 times, we were here in our own home only twice. K’s first Diwali was celebrated at our inlaws place in Lucknow.
As kids our Diwalis were a lot of fun. There was Pooja, lights, sweets, new clothes, and most importantly people around to celebrate the festival with. We would generally gather on our neighbour’s terrace and observe fire crackers, and have a good time together till late into the night. When I think about it now, what I enjoyed the most was, that there were always a lot of people around to celebrate the festival with. Diwali was celebrated big. People seemed genuinely happy and there was a festive air for days altogether.
I am married into a family who are not too much into enjoying such occasions. I mean, sweets are prepared, lights go up, rangoli is made and all Pooja etc is done, but the fun element associated with the festival is totally ignored. So the two diwalis we celebrated with family, were kind of mundane. I would say quite boring. I will not go into the details of what we did and what we did not. But it should suffice that it ddi not feel like a festival.
This year however, we got a chance to do Pooja etc at our home, and then go to in-laws place for dinner. We put up lights in our home, I made a nice Rangoli, there was Pooja, and all Diwali paraphernalia. However, still, I felt that there was something amiss. It did not feel like festival days for us. I thought about it a bit, because now I want to set trends in my home, for K to see and experience and enjoy these festivities and form some really good memories the way I formed during my growing years.
I am not sure what exactly I will do or add to make festivals special at my home, may be a small party for every festival, where I invite close friends a few days before the actual festival. Or may be, buying meaningful presents for family and friends, like a small indoor plant or something. Or may be donating goodies to an orphanage as it makes me feel very sad, when I see half of the population celebrating and the other half going about their routine jobs of pulling rickshaw, cleaning our cars as if it is just another day. Or may- be doing anyone of these each year or all of them every year during Diwali. Just something which makes it special and worth remembering. I want to make the celebration such that when someone asks us the next day- how was your Diwali- I can happily say –Fantastic!! How do you celebrate Diwali? Anything special which you do which is worth sharing…pls do share…J