So, it was another Diwali at home. God, how much I love these times. Every Diwali with family is special because of the special feeling of togetherness with people who are your actual pillars of support is a great feeling. It also brings you closer to the place you belong to, mentally and emotionally. It was another day where we began with last moment panicking and trying to shop, clean, eat, talk- all at the same time. There was so much to eat and so much to do- this abundance that comes with Diwali is my favourite part. People splurge on sweets, crackers and clothes. I do believe in charity but an annual show of such emotions is more or less therapeutic to an otherwise middle-class, medium income-group family.
Also, it is a delight to watch all the family members come together and enjoy. My day began a late as I woke up at around 8-ish with Rangoli playing at the giant plasma TV set my Dad had just got. I think this tradition of watching Rangoli on Sundays will never leave my household. From the era of Black and White small CRTs to LCDs, this programme has been setting the whole day's pace and mood for us North-Indians since time immemorial. Then we drove to our Chhatarpur home where we were warmly welcomed by grandparents. It is always the fuzziest, warmest feeling to meet them after a while.
The afternoon was replete with shopping for diyas, sweets, Lakshmi Ganesh idols and other items of Pooja. The colourful Diwali markets, especially in small towns form an organic entity. The throbbing colours, young lasses shopping for Rangoli colours, women and men bargaining for random items, creative artworks, fireworks etc are a joy to watch and absorb. This very Indian-ness is missing in those newer entrants like - "Cadbury's Celebrations" gift packets with little or no personalization. Later in the noon, my Dad used some messaging site to send out Diwali greetings to all his contacts. I miss the good old greeting cards' tradition.
Half of the evening was spent helping in the cleaning and setting up of lights while the rest was spent napping! In the night, there was the quintessential Puja where my Dad, as always, recited the "story of Deepawali" (katha) and then later, we all sang the Aarti together. After that, we set out to put diyas in each and every nook and cranny of the house and then there was the prasad distribution and touching of the feet of all elderlies. Then of course there were fireworks.
So, yep! That was my Diwali. :)
Hope yours was as simple and delightful. :)