Deepavali or Diwali – which is around the corner (Oct 27) doesn’t need an intro to the world, and India is a multicultural nation with each has its own richness of colours, dynamic, values and unique practices progresses with zeal; and Diwali is a festival unites the nation under the limelight called festival of lights, just like the festival of colours - Holi. Every part of the country has a reason and belief to celebrate Diwali with common intent of good against evil and light in place of darkness. Though not everyone celebrates Diwali in India and you really don’t need to celebrate the festival but the mood of the festival of lights is delight! Those who grew up in 90s and 80s and further decades below would knew the real essence and spirit of Deepavali or any other festival in common, and we as kids used to begin the celebration weeks ahead to Diwali by bursting little firecrackers that we buy from the petti shops in neighbourhood.
Deepavali is an uplifting feeling leap off every year during the festival time and it has something to do with me, perhaps it was a favourite time of the year for me from the beginning and bursting fireworks was the intention behind the enthusiasm. During school days, we draw Diwali greetings on the black board on the last day in school before the Deepavali holiday and what we draw was rockets, flower pot fountains, sparklers… and some terror boys drew Lakshmi vedi, auto bombs and electric crackers and the girl students drew Diyas. Those days Deepavali means fireworks and still I could not imagine a Deepavali without the same and the sound of firecrackers. I don’t encourage the sound and I too stopped buying fireworks that exits sound, except for the Aerial shots, I handle only sparklers.
Apart fireworks, Deepavali is a festival of sweets and this was the only time that we make sweets and snacks at home. But these days many prefer buying sweets from the shops perhaps because of laziness or workload where they are not ready or impossible to spend time on preparing snacks at home. During our resident at apartment (from 2005-2013) we get to taste different sweets and snacks shared by the neighbours but we ever turned from Adhirasam and Murukku – the traditional sweet and snack that mark Deepavali. The Adhirasam made of rice flour and jiggery and Murukku with same flour and other ingredients produces a distinct sense and cheerfulness as we go through the smell and hunger for same. The snacks were later distributed to relatives and friends the same way we’re treated by them.
Though new cloths are part of the festival, like any other festivals, Deepavali clothes has a special place and this was the time where purchases reach the peak and offers come in grand what people never wanted to miss. The online shopping has took a huge leap these days, where the festival rush to shopping streets and malls had gradually decreased and the great Indian festivals at online websites and apps like Amazon becomes an advantage to people who lookout for low-price and stress-free shopping experience. I remember going to shopping for Deepavali and Pongal festivals, when I was a kid, even though I wasn’t much interested on dresses that was a time new dress made sense and gave happiness showing it to others. Only in last couple of years I took shirts for Deepavali and this year that too was nil, as I got stitched dress only lately, but generally I wasn’t interested shopping on special occasions.
For me it was the feeling, the cheerfulness of celebrating a festival and gathering of people and cherishing the memories that I hold dear from past celebrations makes Deepavali special. For me the past is always significant, not only because those moments unreturned but hold back the spirit and becomes a force to take forward. I believe a festival is to celebrate and a celebration is impossible without sharing. For me Deepavali bring a feel of togetherness, what the sounds of fireworks on this day reproduce and I don’t see bursting fireworks as a rite or reasonable act but I like watching firework display that happens only during Deepavali and I buy some on my personal interest. Enjoy your day and have fun.