Diwali for me has been the most important festival ever since my childhood . It has had something magical to it . Life throws our share of challenges to us and my life has been no different.However the seven to ten days that we celebrated diwali used to be the most special and cherished . For it was the time of the year when the whole family got together and just the feeling of being with the family always created a spirit of festivity like no other.
Living in Delhi and having spent most of my Diwali festivals here I can recollect how about a few days prior to the festival we could feel a little nip in the air . It indicated the onset of the winter season and also gave us the message that Diwali is here. However the first sign for me used to be just about on or after the festival of Dushera that the aroma of the peanuts being roasted on a coal fired stove mixed with the cool breeze announced he coming of the festival season. You may argue and even rightly so that the festival season begins with the navratras .
However for me it meant the coming home of my maternal uncle and getting to spend time with him and get undivided love and pampering of the entire family. It was around or after Dushera that the much awaited inland letter would arrive to inform us of the date of arrival of my maternal uncle (my mama). The day we got the letter ,it used to be officially the unofficial countdown of the festival season. It meant rushing to the tailor to get new clothes stitched. For it was the festival when we children got new clothes and had plenty of opportunity to look trendy and chick. This was also the time when my maternal grand father used to prepare the list of items that would be given as Diwali gifts It included sarees for my mother, my grandmother and my aunt. Sweets for the entire hous hold and for those who worked for the household like the maid and her family ,the colony guard ,the sabzi wala (the vegetable vendor). Being young I always got a trunk full of crackers as a Diwali gift from my uncle.
How ever as I grew up I realized that my family actively contributed to make the festival more cheerful and enjoyable for the less privileged. Now my focus has also shifted to being socially more responsible and try to celebrate a pollution free diwali . The trunk full of crackers have been replaced by a single box of phuljhadi. New clothes are still bought but the purchase is more need based and the focus is more on buying warm clothes and blankets that we can give to an orphanage .However what has not changed is the love and bonds of out family. We still get together and celebrate.hangout together and enjoy. When these days of celebration pass we bid farewell to our outbound relatives with heavy hearts. The silver lining is the marking of next years diwali dates so that we can block these dates and get back together for a fun filled festival season and yes I start looking forward to the next years dusherra as well awaiting the arrival for that letter announcing the date of arrival of my mama .Even in this age of SMS & Mobile phone it is truly magical and brings us the news that diwali is round the corner .
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