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Diwali at My Place

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Diwali at My Place

I'm just back from a rejuvenating vacation in Mussourie and the 'city of dreams' welcomes me with preparations of Diwali. The festival of lights spreads so much cheer and excitement all around that you can't escape it even if you want to. I first noticed this phenomenon when I entered my office last Thursday. I was amazed to find most of the work-areas on my floor draped in colored crepe and cellophane paper! I stood transfixed at the entrance after the door clicked shut behind me. And then it hit me -

The annual bay-decoration competition for Diwali had been announced! I love this competition a little more than the other sundry contests held at my office during autumn. Every team is supposed to do up their bay using lights and colors and creativity. This year, we saw many teams showcasing current affairs as their Diwali-decor themes. One team had installed a standee of an astronaut on Mars and visitors had the opportunity to get clicked as the astronaut on Mars! One of my close friends' team took up the evergreen theme of "go green". They made these lovely Japanese fans with green crepe paper and stuck them as leaves on a giant tree-trunk. They even covered the white lights with green cellophane and the entire bay glowed like emeralds in a jewelry box. The real treasure for me was the surprise samosas, dhoklas and motichoor-laddoos which arrived in the evening and made me salivate!

Unfortunately, the situation at home is not as rosy. Most of my family is busy - my parents have to attend work or social parties, my sister lives far away in Mysore and I type blogposts after blogposts staying up late at night. I miss the Diwali we had when I was in school. My mum would make rangoli at the entrance and we'd help her. She would borrow the chakli-maker from our Marathi neighbour and the two ladies would make numerous chaklis which we would then steal from the chakli-jars (shh... don't tell anyone! ;-) ). We would also light diyas in every room and on the balcony. Back then, I was a  good painter and would decorate many diyas using my oil-paints.

I miss the cameraderie I shared with kids of similar age. Growing up has made people less social and driven them into their shells. Diwali has lost its true meaning. It is now just another festival when retailers and brands throw huge discounts at us so we can throw our time and money at them. If we aren't shopping, we'll mostly be watching television. Gone are the days when we would visit most families in the building and share sweets and savouries with them.

This Diwali, I wish to change this boring way of celebrating and introduce some lively music for everyone to groove to! I want my family to come together and share some nimkees and soft drinks at the dinner table. I miss bonding with my parents and sister. They mean the world to me.

Here I leave you with a heartwarming video from Pepsi's #GharWaliDiwali campain that tells us to be home this Diwali -