Diwali, a festival of lights, snacks, colourful rangolis, family get-togethers and what not. Ever since our school days, we’ve been writing essays on Diwali, telling how Diwali is our favourite festival because it brought with it a huge holiday spree from school. History has it that this festival is celebrated in remembrance of Rama’s victory over Ravana. A festival that celebrates a triumph, of good over evil, of truth over lies, of light over darkness.
Over the years and generations, the way in which this festival is celebrated has changed and changed a lot. Diwali, some years ago, meant a festival in which families come together to celebrate. It meant drawing crazy rangolis as kids, along with your cousins alongside the beautiful rangoli an elder made. It meant burning crackers, with a trill in the heart and spark in eyes. Crackers that were loud and polluting. It meant helping your father in hanging the skylamp(aakash-kandil) in the balcony and lighting the diyas with your mom. It meant cleaning the house along with your family, finding old photographs while doing that and spending the rest of the day looking at them. It meant decorating the house with lovely garlands and flowers. It meant going to the neighbour’s house just to eat that ladoo you loved so much. It meant sharing, giving, earning and above all feeling alive.
But today, we’ve somehow left this culture behind, not totally, but it sure has changed alarmingly. With people getting isolated and less than willing to help each other, this festival has been restricted merely to sending those WhatsApp messages and facebook tags, that may put a smile on one’s face but leave hollow space in their heart.
Burning crackers causes pollution, yes it does. But, does that mean we stop celebrating. Diwali is much more than that. Limit the fireworks and light more diyas instead, but let’s keep our culture alive. So, this Diwali, let’s decide to have fun, to celebrate. For the entire week, keep your phone away. You’ll see the change yourself. Spend some time with your loved ones. Buy that traditional wear you loved along with some crackers that won’t cause much harm. Make some diyas at home. Make handmade gifts for the people you care for and surprise them. Create new designs for the rangolis. The happiness you’ll get out of doing this cannot be put into words. Together, make some ladoos, chiwda and other snacks and eat them, together. Let the foodie in you come alive. Wake up early every morning and pray. It’s more soothing than you think. Go to all the neighbourhood houses, along with the kids of your colony and wish everyone a Happy Diwali, face to face. Take the blessings of elders. Talk to everyone around you, ask them what Diwali means to them. Each one will come up with a story you wouldn’t have ever imagined. Decorate your house with flowers, sky lamps, diyas and lights. Create your own happy world with your own people in it.
Sometimes, your own home, the very place that seems chaotic due to the city lifestyle can turn into a place more happy than any vacation spot. And that is what festivals are meant for, aren’t they? Make this Diwali a memorable one for yourself as well as for people around you. This Diwali, let the light shine over darkness. Let’s spread around light and positivity.