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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Festive Spirit - Here, There and Everywhere

During the Diwali weekend, I was riding back home from work through the commercial hub of Chennai - T Nagar. As I crossed a flyover, I couldn’t stop to admire the brightly lit buildings. I could sense that festive spirit that was around. Scores of people had descended on the streets of Chennai to shop for themselves and their loved ones. The lights, the noises of the crowd and the 'Sale' signboards everywhere, did add to the festive spirit and from nowhere I had started feeling excited.

Commercialized Celebrations?

Many people cry that a lot of festivities have been commercialized. Considering that they are done to keep customers (citizens) happy, I don’t see what's wrong with that. I get to wear new clothes, make/buy sweets and savouries, watch special programs or movies and burst crackers (depending on my budget). But when you step back and take a look at the big picture, it's about sharing these moments with our loved ones that makes it all the more special. I see it as a way of expressing our love and affection for those around us.  Buying new clothes for the family and extended family, bonding while preparing special sweets or enjoying a good conversation while eating them, bursting crackers with the tiny tots and the elders; all this gives us an opportunity to spend time with our fellow beings, something which we might not be able to do on a daily basis. So on these days, when you have options to pamper your loved ones with stuff apart from your love and affection, what's wrong, I ask.

Diwali gets all of us slightly more excited that the other festivals because this is one festival that the entire country celebrates at the same time.  So even if you aren’t exactly in the festive mood, just seeing others celebrate and being happy with their friends and family would automatically bring a smile on your face. It's contagious I tell you.

I reached home slightly early on Diwali eve and found Amma busy in the kitchen. Since it's tradition that we make sweets and savouries at home, I asked what mom had planned and then went over to where she had stored the sweets.  I found that there were enough sweets to start a min-sweet shop. Seeing my surprised look, mom told me that a few of our friends and some relatives had sent them over.


My Super-Mom's Sweets and Savories for Diwali :-)
Being Remembered

I was happy. People, despite being busy with their own preparations and celebrations for Diwali, had taken a minute to remember our family and had sent over some sweets. It might have been home-made or a gift box from Nuts and Spices, but it's the thought that really counts.  Yes, I agree that they must have done the same for a 100 other people or outsourced this work to someone, but when you are never short of people whom you know, making it to someone's list of top 100, is definitely an achievement. I'd rather focus on that.
One among the very many gift boxes that we received :-)
And you know when I felt really blessed? It was when my NRI friends who missed the sweets, the constant crackers' noise, the wishes and happy faces and almost everything about being at home on a festival. I realized how so many people would have yearned to spend the day like I did and how much I’d taken for granted. I did feel bad for them, but that helped me realize how lucky I was to be in the midst of the most happening celebrations and happy people.

You are never too old for sparklers! 


Happy Diwali :-)

May this festival of lights bring peace, joy and happiness to you and your family :-) 


23 comments:

  1. I am fine with all aspects of this festival except that we send a huge ball of smoke to the atmosphere, and that child labour is employed extensively to make crackers. It should not be too difficult to transition from pollution causing crackers to something else that doesn't harm as much. But does anyone want it?

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Speaking of pollution, this is just one day of celebrations. Agree that we can think of ways to reduce pollution, but shouldn't that be applicable to all aspects of our normal lives than just these crackers?

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  2. I love fireworks always have since i was a child .. and this year diwali is special :) its on 11th nov. :) and you are right if only i had enough money to buy a ticket and be home with my friends on this day to celebrate the festival, I am homesick now ...

    I love those sweets NOW i am more homesick

    HERE's WISHING YOU A VERY Happy Diwali to you and family and Everyone around you .

    Bikram's

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    1. Happy Diwali Bikram :-) Wish you all the happiness in the world.

      Diwali has always been about family and memories and the bonding. Perhaps that is what makes it all the more special :-)

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  3. Happy Deepwali, Ashwini. Having moms make us all the delicacies makes it extra special. I have amma with me this year and she made Mithai at home :) yes, the thought counts to give sweets. I miss India all the time for festivals. We celebrate here also pretty well, but it's not the same. yes, the noise of crackers...there people are fighting for a sound free Diwali, but we miss the noise...weird..

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    1. Happy Diwali Latha :-) It's surprising right, the very thing that might normally annoy someone here, is what we miss the most when we aren't around :-) And of course, moms are determined to make as many sweets and savories as possible for the family :-)

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  4. Diwali lights,sweets,meeting loved ones,sharing with them are all fine;but i do not like the smoke and the noise--no.And when it comes to buying clothes for others;here also a question of personal taste butts in.Many people prefer to be given cash but giving and receiving cash is so common place.

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    1. I agree about the smoke, but is there really a green-alternative? As for clothes, most of us either give gift vouchers or yes cash, specifically for clothes.

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  5. Of all the festivals,Deepavali is most fun-filled where the young and old derive great pleasure.
    Very nicely written reflecting what happens in each household.

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    1. It brings everyone together, and is't that the point of the festivals :-) Thanks KP Sir :-)

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  6. Shubh Deepavali to you and yours!!

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    1. Thank you :-) Hope you had a great Diwali too :-)

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  7. You're right. Festivals are about more than the packaging they come in.. Happy Diwali.

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  8. I love Diwali. My dad is a diabetic - Diwali is the only time of the year when my mother lets him feast on sweets owing to the surplus that arrives in the house...My brother and I love bursting crackers - this year, as we celebrated a noise-free Diwali, it was fun setting sky-lanterns off to light up the night-sky.....My mother and I decorate the entire house with diyas and rangoli - it is fun for everyone :-)

    Today, everything is commercialized if one gets to the nitty-gritty of things - festivals are no exception. We should all just enjoy the festive spirit and have fun :-)

    Wish you and your entire family a lovely Diwali and may this year be successful and filled with warmth and love for all of you!

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    1. Exactly. Let's just enjoy the spirit and not stop doing something just because it is commercialized. As long as people are made happy, our objective is achieved :-)

      Happy Diwali :-) Thanks for the wonderful wishes. Wishing you a bright Diwali too :-)

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  9. I guess I am one NRI who is blessed with being able to have multiple sweets, gorging on chhole-batura made by her friends and also watching her kids light sparklers for more than 2 hours!! I really enjoy this festival and this year, was able to enjoy it to the fullest! Heck, we're still celebrating because the weekend is here with more parties! :D
    Glad you had an awesome time too!

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    1. After all what are festivals for, but to celebrate it with a good spirit with our loved ones :-)

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  10. Exactly the point as i mentioned on FB...you were lucky to be a part of celebrations in India. We can only sit at home and do a bit; but going out and making noise, or just shopping for the season, is a different craze altogether.

    I am sure you had a good one!

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    1. Exactly. The more I listen to people missing the very things people complain about Diwali celebrations here, the more I understand how much we people take it for granted.

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  11. Diwali is my fav festival. Like everything about it. Right from cleaning homes to shopping to decorating and then eating and exchanging sweets and gifts and meeting family and friends too. It is nearly a week long celebration and the preparation may take a month or so! Oh, I dont like the crackers now. I was a fearless enthusiast once, not now though!

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    1. I am still scared of the noise, but I enjoy it. And yea, as you said the month long preparations for the week long celebrations makes it all the more interesting :-)

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  12. I love festive seasons especially diwali...the whole world looks so pretty with all the lighting and the sweets are so good. I do a lot of shopping in diwali especially the ethnic wear voonik kurtis

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