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11 November 2015

It’s Diwali yet again. I remember, as a kid  I sat down with mom and we soaked the earthen clay diya’s in water, one night in advance. It was a real task, taking cotton balls and sliding them between palms to make them into wicks. Dad would clean the big stand which held around 30 diya’s at a time and I would then run around with a bottle of mustard oil specially ordered in liters for the special occasion, to fill all the diya’s up to the brim. My next favorite in row was, when dad climbed a stool to fix those fairy lights and ordered  me to switch them on and off as he checked for the loose connections. Mishtu aunty, our tenant would help make sweets as Ma would make a paste of rice and draw the Rangoli (Alpona), in our Bengali style. I would take the leftover paste and draw all abstract arts in corners where the diya’s were to be placed. By this time, all gifts would be packed and tied with satin laces, pasting name tags ” To whomever, HAPPY DIWALI, prosperous year” ,and all that stuff. There were phone calls, dry fruits, crockery and all sources of happiness to receive. The cashew nuts were the ones always missing from the box, as I would gobble up hand full of them, the moment they arrived and I guess I now  have the reason behind my flab and love handles.

The serials on TV , I swear become more colorful during this season, with pretty attires, colorful decorations ,happy story line and everybody in celebration mood. They raise a common man’s expectations from the festival. It seems overly jolly and okay, if I honestly confess then, as a kid I always thought that I would stay all donned up, wearing beautiful bangles and colorful lehenga’s and burn firecrackers and we would have family photographs. Basically I am too much into photos and selfies. But real life is a bit, Ok!  a bit more different.

Earlier the rooms were cleaned and my books neatly stacked. So neatly, that I wasn’t able to spot them when needed.  Curtains, cushion covers and bed sheets all replaced by new designs. Basically the house glowed as if, all new. Then we would go to nearby pandal’s, to see the idol of Kali Ma, yeah we Bengali’s pray her along with Ganesh Ji and Lakshmi Ma on this very day. Then after returning, I burst crackers with friends and we ate all good food and tan-ta-na… the festival went pretty well. Now, we have grown up, so has the celebration aged in our house. The festival isn’t as bright as before.

But these memories so clear,leaves me with a smile as I light the wax filled diyas, switch on the twinkling fairy lights which run across whole of the verandah. The feeling of celebration almost same, the difference still somewhere deep down in my heart, aches. Its been over years, we celebrated Diwali that well.The serials still rise in me the hope of a colorful Diwali in future. I still have that wish of dressing up pretty and look at my own house decorated and glowing like a big bright diya, as I stand with a firecracker in hand, being clicked with my near and dear ones.

” Life is never like the ones shown in soaps, its how we look at it, makes a festival more Bright and Enjoyable “