i don't celebrate all indian festivals with aplomb. my folks tried to instill in me a wanting to celebrate most major fests... but somehow, i cudn't relate to any of them. except for the food associated with them, that is! but diwali? it's like maggi hot and sweet tomato chilly sauce. it's different.
diwali has a lot of vivid memories in my head. as long back as i r'ber, we've celebrated diwali. now i don't say "we" as in the human race or the indian race or anything like that. "we" pertains to my family. my mom, my dad, my bro, my dogs and my cat(s). the latter depending on which years i am referring to.
diwali, to me, is associated with the cleaning up of the entire house. preening and pruning the garden, which usually my mom did for months before the actual day! d shopping... which was done weeks before when our diwali holidays for school began! *this was when i still enjoyed shopping* the rising early in the morning on diwali day. *i've never woken up that early except on diwali! but yeah, it felt good only on diwali day.* the dressing up and watching my bro & dad light crackers outside... huddling up inside the house with my beloved pets cause we hated the loud noise-making firecrackers... lighting diyas on the steps leading to the house.. in d garden... in all the windows... while my cat looked on. in awe, i guess. coz that was the only time he saw me do anything constructive around the house!
decorating the window sill with streams of marigold & lilies...with the entire flower basket on the ledge along with me, and the cat; who, obviously fascinated, would insist on lying down on the flowers. *not a good idea if ur cat is 7 odd kgs heavy!* the dog, jealous that she could not climb up on the ledge while the cat could, would keep looking at us... and refuse to let d cat near me once i was down from the ledge... of lighting sparklers and watching them fascinated... of watching ma draw the rangoli and trying in vain to not let the cat step on it...
later, as we grew older and moved out of home, diwali was the only time that we, as a family came together. all four of us. so it became extra special. we went out of town after laxmi pooja and returned after 3-4 days... that's as much leave as we got! we didn't have the dogs anymore, so that was one concern off our minds. *our dogs didn't eat in our absence, so kennels were out of the picture* i remember the trips to alibaug, to the konkan coast, exploring the beauty of the non-touristy villages, the virgin beaches, the simple, non-commercialized folks... they all, somehow, are associated with diwali in my head!
the weather's usually really adorable at this time of the year. neither too cold, nor too warm. just right! for lovely, long drives... evenings at the beach... or just sitting around and talking to each other...
this will be my second diwali away from home. last year didn't feel so bad coz we were at my cousin's place. maasi was here. and it felt almost like home. this year's a little different. my folks and bro are together... and i feel kind of left out of the whole thing. so it's now reduced to chatting with frenz back home, telling them how much i miss home and garner some sympathy! lol!
now it's more like upto me to make it feel like diwali for both of us. so, off i go to clear and clean the mess of an apartment... light up the tea-lights and candles, and place the beeyootiful flowers that the mad man i married got me without a reason! again! yeah, now that i think of it, it does feel like home!
p.s.: wish all of u a very very rockin' diwali!