A semi-autobiographical outlook on Festival of Diwali
|The end of a diwali night
“Diwali is a festival of joy and happiness and I wish you all a very happy Diwali”
- Dr Manmohan Singh
(P.M. India, 2009)
So right, Diwali is a festival of joy and happiness but belonging to a middle class family, I have always found it more of a headache than a reason to celebrate…increased grocery bills, more of extra work ranging from decorating the house to making endless trips to market-nothing but a headache.
My hometown is Indore but I study in Bhopal, all because of some confusions and misunderstandings. So Diwali vacations for me are a time to be close to my parents rather than the dust-dirt of my house. But who cares about MY problems?
During the 10-12 days of Diwali celebrations the most hectic day is the Diwali eve itself-everyone in the house trying to complete every kind of work relating to Diwali, (which all ends just before the pooja). But even after all this, the joy of completing work just before the deadline is undeniable and exotic.
A few days before Diwali I encountered a rally of 25-30 young man, riding the classic Royal Enfield Bullet (polluting the city, of course), pleading everyone to say-no-to-firecrackers, so that ‘pollution’ can be controlled this Diwali. As I watched the rally move away from me, I was filled with sudden guilt because of the increasing global warming and decided to “say-no-to-Royal Enfield Bullet”…produces too much smoke.
The night before the day of Diwali every channel telecasted advertisements in which various movie actresses requested people to say-no-to-firecrackers and I immediately decided to do so… “How can you say no to such gorgeous ladies?”
Anyways, Diwali eve arrived and I joined forces with my parents to complete all the remaining preparations. My parents make a great couple. My mom, a great lady, always worrying a bit too much about just everything- about the increasing coat of living, about the degrading quality of living and my growing interest in girls, is a great manager and quite efficiently manages her professional and personal life. While my dad is quite a jolly person who is more worried about the characters of his favorite TV serials than his increasing weight, is a great cook and one of the most intellectual person I know.
Coming back to Diwali day…..
We finally managed to wrap up everything just before 6 pm and after being satisfied moved to our respective rooms to change.
After changing I took last look in the mirror and could only say “now that’s a handsome young man standing in front of you!” and I wondered “Why, Oh! Why, am I still single?” and before I could think of any reason or think of the countless beauties I have encountered in my life of 18 years, the clock struck 7 reminding me that the pooja started at 7. So, I rushed out of my room to the pooja-ghar and found my parents waiting for me.
My mom started the pooja by applying tilak on the statue of goddess Laxmi. I noticed that the red color of tilak was getting paler every year and wondered “is it because we are loosing faith in god or because god is loosing faith in us or is the Congress government behind all this”, but before I could decide I was pulled back to reality by my mom shouting at me “don’t sit like a moron and complete the pooja!!”
After getting over with pooja I wandered out to see the kids burning firecrackers. I think being a kid is the best time in a person’s life - free from any responsibilities or worries and without any need for acting like a mature; just doing things for fun. Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again – free, immature, innocent…
Just then neighbor started coming to our house and I decided to make a trip to my cousin’s place but due to oncoming visitors I had to wait and finally managed to get out at 10.
While going through the city roads, I encountered lots of people and smoke which led me to profound the theory that increasing population leads to increasing pollution or may be increasing pollution leads to increasing population….its a difficult task to give a theory.
Anyways, I reached my cousin’s place and spent next few hours sitting and talking. When I returned (at 2 am) the whole city bathed in silent beauty. The big bungalows, though looking more beautiful than small houses, were silent perhaps dull and sad. Did it signify that money is inversely related to happiness???...some questions are never answered…
Every house in the city looked different from each other but the common link between them was the widespread darkness over them which made the lightings look beautiful (and we say that it’s the lighting that is beautiful but the fact is that without darkness they are nothing). Life is just like that; we notice and praise the less important things leaving out the more important ones.
Finally I reached home at around 2:30, my parents were sleeping. Before going to my room I took a look at them and saw peace and serenity quietly spread on their face. They were happy ad content after all the work and maybe there lied the real happiness of life…in being content.
On my bed, I tried to give a firm base to my population-pollution theory and even tried to find the reasons to my singularity but before I could proceed anywhere I drifted off to sleep and thus ended a Diwali night.