Again, it’s that time of the year. The pre-winter nip in the air is ignored amidst the rising festive enthusiasm. The year-long struggles and stresses of your Life is swept aside for these few days to make way for the crisp new clothes, sparkling gift wraps, the anticipation of meeting your families , and the unadulterated smiles that follow and bring out the child in all of us.
If anyone from a different cultural background asks you about Diwali, you will probably gleam with keywords glowing like lights, family, gifts, sweets, crackers, fun, and love in the flashbacks from your growing up years that you sew into a heart-warming story.
This Diwali, if you’re willing to, you can choose to add a little more to the festive fun, by walking the path less travelled.
I am here to reveal. Trust me, you will be left with a heart filled with joy unbound for a lifetime.
- The Humble Gifts
When you’re filling your e-cart while lying on your couch and sublimely thanking Jeff Bezos, try to take a walk, and look around. The shop in the street corner manned by the old widower, whose teenager grandchild is helping him in hiding the humility of their little shop that sports not-so-upmarket gifts, try to buy one or two of your gifts from here as well, and help him add another string of twinkling rice lights on the front door.
Getting Celebrations packs in bulk for your little cousins? Try the lady in some dingy corner of the local market who still fights a battle everyday to keep up the age old lost sweet recipes and pines for people like you to step in and help buy her daughter a new dupatta this Diwali.
Give them a smile, you will get it back in leaps and bounds.
- The Eyes That Only Look Up
As you fill the sky and the air around you with dazzling lights from those crackers, there are places in your city , town or village where the greens and reds that adorn the sky like meteor showers only reach through crevices of undying hopes .
The children in slums who cannot afford to sport a new dress or buy a simple Phooljhari, this Diwali, save a little aside from your Diwali budget, and fill up a bag with crackers, mithai, clothes anything you wish for and hand it over to those little hands .
Burn a cracker or two with them, ask them what they want to do for Diwali when they grow up. Trust me, the colourful plethora of dreams emanating from their excited eyes will fill your sky for decades to come.
- The Dying Breaths
As you wake up to post Diwali simmered down enthusiasm, you feel your eyes burning, throats itching and it costs you some extra effort to breathe. Yes, this is the present picture of Diwali aftermath in most urban areas. And, you need not be reminded of the reason.
So, this Diwali, take a pledge of doing something more than sharing the Facebook posts or forwarding the Whatsapp texts on pollution awareness. As the clichéd saying goes, “Be the change yourself”. Burn less crackers, put a complete and firm NO on noisy patakhas. After all Diwali is all about sharing the love, which can be done silently as well. A brighter smile works better than a noisier cracker.
P.S. I spent a cracker-free Diwali last year 🙂
- The Fears That Cannot Speak
Probably the most pitiful sight in Diwali is that of the stray animals shivering and trying to find a small nook or a corner to find shelter. Not to mention the reckless psychopathic hooligans who get some sort of twisted sadistic excitement in frightening them.
This Diwali, build a small temporary shelter or safe keep a part of the garage for the neighbour dogs or cats that wag their tails or greet you with the cutest meow on your way every other day. It’s high time you do return the love they selflessly share with you for the other 364 days.
- The Bonds Revisited
This Diwali, revive the bonds that got lost as you began the race against time.
Pay a visit to the neighbour uncle who gave you your kite-flying lessons. Call up your school time best friend and ask for a meet up. Show your grandmother photos of your last trip to Manali. Surprise your mom with the new recipe you learnt off YouTube. Sit with your little sister or brother and look at them blush when asked the name of their crushes.
I mean, just redefine the bonds in the words of days bygone.
Happy Diwali to all of you. Shine the brightest with your heart.