Diwali – the festival of lights is an important festival in India. Diwali, like many other festivals has many stories and reasons backing its celebrations. The most popular one is the return of Lord Rama with his queen Sita and brother Lakshman from their 14 year exile after vanquishing Ravana. The other reasons are to commemorate the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu, killing of Narakasura by lord Krishna, return of the pandavas,. For Jains it is the day Lord Mahavira attained spiritual enlightment and for the Buddhists it is the day Ashoka converted to Buddhism. It is the festival of lights and hence the name Diwali. These were the info and stories told by my elders about this grand festival.
Beforee wedding, as soon as someone utters the word Diwali, I will start thinking about buying new dresses, sweets and crackers. The celebration starts a week before. I am sure that most of you have started preparing the sweets and savouries. Also the crackers and new clothes are ready. My brother and I will start to think about this festival a month before itself. My dad will bring the list of crackers and ask us to select from it. Once we make the list, he will place for an order. Then my Appa will keep all the crackers in the sun so that they ll burst well when we use it.
Then comes another important event of purchasing clothes for all of us. We will go for the purchase together, have fun in seeing different clothes and select a dress for all of us. And most importantly we give the dresses for stitching and make sure we get in time.
Three days before, amma, paati , appa and thatha will start making sweets and savouries. Oh yeah!!! I am lucky and blesses to be born in such a beautiful home. Every one of us will contribute our part and enjoy making all the sweets and savouries. We make ladoo, mixture as a regular one and one or two more sweets and savouries along with it. It was super enjoyment.
The day before Diwali, we will burst crackers, pack the sweets and savouries for distribution. My mom will apply turmeric powder in all the new clothes and place it in the pooja room. The next day, we will wake up early in the morning, wish everybody and will burst the second round of crackers. My grandmother and mom will apply oil in our head, give us Diwali Lehiyam, then a sweet and will give our new clothes. Ganga snanam (meaning taking bath) is an important one and whoever wishes us will ask this and we in turn will ask them.
After having bath, we will wear the new clothes, get blessings from the elders at home, wish our relatives and neighbours and dstribute swets. Of course it is followed by grand feast and some good TV programmes.
Festivals are celebrated and meant to be together with our family. It refreshes us from our daily routine. There is no celebration being alone. For the last two years, I am celebrating alone and I miss my family very badly. I terribly miss all those beautiful moments this year. But I will keep waiting to have those moments again at least in the forecoming years….!!!!
HAPPY DIWALI EVERYBODY!!!!