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Diwali is about the festivities, the food, and the lights, yes. But more than anything, Diwali is about family – getting together and feeling that love in the very air.
The last quarter of the year has commenced, and may I say the best time of the year is officially here. With the onset of autumn, as deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves, people rise to a more hopeful year. The first chill and the smell in the air makes one nostalgic. While I don’t believe in waiting for a moment to embrace an opportunity, there are times I wait for, as with them come the memories.
It’s the time you feel cold outside but warm, very warm inside. It’s the time when you slide into your comforters, and get into your comfort zone. It’s a time when you wait for a change of season, a change of hope.
It’s this time of the year, when all the wonderful festivals are lined around the corner. What starts with the Navratras takes you all the way to the New Year. While every festival holds its own significance, Diwali takes my heart.
Diwali is much more than a festival; it’s a childhood dream. It’s like the first love, the one you never forget. You may part ways, but when it comes across, it brings a smile to your face and a spark in your eyes. It’s the day when my city dresses like a bride, looking more beautiful than I remembered. And I can’t help but fall in love with it all over again. It takes me in its arms and its hug is everlasting, where I find my solace.
Diwali makes its presence felt everywhere. Everything about this time is mesmerizing – the nip in the air, the smell of festivities, the anticipation of household shopping, getting decked up for the whole Diwali week, people meeting and greeting delightfully. Your soul feeds on all the positivity all around and the feel of a new beginning.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I miss home this festive season. For me Diwali was and will always be the most exciting time of the year. It’s not just a day, but a whole five-day affair – Dhanteras, Chhoti Diwali, Lakshmi Puja, Govardhan Puja and Bhaiya Dooj. Like a bumper offer, Diwali too comes in a package.
If not all this, then Diwali surely means home. It’s that time of the year when everyone flies to the abode they call home. The homes you left, the homes where you have your childhood memories built. Because if you want to feel this festival, you need to let those feelings sink in, and there will be no better place than a place you were born and bought up. Seven years ago, I spent my first Diwali away from home in the US, and I vividly remember the homesickness that engulfed me. It was sheer pain, and no amount of pampering by my friends and husband helped me. That day, we cooked the same food, we had the same routine, we had the late night cards party, but it was not the same. Because it lacked the soul, it lacked the feel. As I said, you need to feel Diwali, and you can only feel it where you celebrated it for years and years together – as a family.
The finest memory of Diwali engrained in my heart is that with my sister. Thanks to my father’s profile, we always had enough gifts coming our way on Diwali and the ones that interested Sonam and me the most were chocolates. I remember how we use to fill a whole steel drum (yes! You read that right) with the gifted calorie supplements and later distribute it in a manner so that we got equal ‘grams’ of chocolate. Rationing of the dark devils was done in a manner so that it lasts for a year, until the drum was refilled on the next Diwali. This festival opens door to the flood of memoirs and much more.
That’s about it folks. Diwali is a sense of belonging, a sense of connect. An instant connect that surpasses people who may have different opinion otherwise, but on this day everyone dips in a joyous tide. It’s a time for celebration; it’s the time to be home.
Published here earlier.