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.
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 :-)|
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 :-)