As I gaze through the office holiday calendar to check for the Diwali holiday, those blissful school days crossed my mind with Diwali Nostalgic Memories. We had around a month long Diwali vacation during school days. Diwali is celebrated from the top of the country to its tip. Everyone has their own childhood memories of Diwali.
Diwali was a special time for me since childhood. As soon as the schools closed for Diwali, we would begin our preparations. My brother being the most notorious member in the family, was always more keen on buying and bursting crackers. Shopping was my favourite activity like any other girl. Diwali shopping would run for days. Every day we would visit the market for some other thing. This is a sharp contrast to today’s busy life where we order everything at the click of a button.
Diwali celebration was a three to four days long affair for us. Sparkling house, dazzling dresses and mouth-watering snacks were all part and parcel of Diwali. Growing up in Mumbai, it was wonderful to see the entire city shinning during Diwali. People of every race and religion enthusiastically take part in the celebration. I loved to see the shops overloaded with crackers or sweets.
Every house had a star shaped lantern hanged on the window. I would compare and contrast each so we can get a better one for our balcony. It was my responsibility to clean the house along with our maid. The house looked spick and span before Diwali approached. I hated it when my mother prepared those snacks and sweets at home. We are in an argument till date that all these things should be purchased from outside but my mother refuses to give up.
We would light up the house with candles and diyas for a few evenings during Diwali. The neighbours were always in friendly competition with each other. Who’s house will stand out and candles will last longer? Family friends and relatives dropped by during Diwali days. Each of them came with sweets and gifts. We as children were always excited to tear open those boxes quickly as the guests left.
I would take the sweets and farsan to every house in the building. Kids in the neighbourhood would call out to each other and gather on the terrace in the evening. We would burst crackers. My favourite was the rocket, goes high up in the sky. It was a bad experience once with my beloved rocket. Instead of shooting up in the sky, it went straight to hit my brother in his stomach. The glass bottle fell down before it would shoot up. We had to rush to the doctor immediately. Unfortunately the doctors were off for Diwali. We managed some local nurse to treat his burnt stomach. The Diwali celebrations came to a halt for us.
It was one of the Diwali long ago, when my father took an initiative. All the kids in the neighbourhood took a pledge to avoid bursting a single cracker. Instead we contributed money and bought sweets and eatables from it. The entire army then marched towards the slum area which was not far from our locality. We distributed all those sweets to the children residing there. It was beautiful to see their eyes glitter at the sight of those things. I believe these are values you inculcate in your children that help them become better human beings.
Years swiftly rolled by. Diwali vacations at school got replaced by just a day off from office. Long market visits don’t interest me anymore as I order my Diwali stuff online. Earthen diyas cease to exist as little electric bulbs serve the purpose. No time to personally visit relatives and friends. We drop a text message to wish instead. Times changed and we got stuck up in our busy schedules. But the memories of Diwali celebration during childhood will stay in our heart forever.