So there was one Diwali when a spark from the crackers had burnt a small hole in a beautiful, brand-new shirt that I was wearing. The skirt was purple colored and with floral print. I didn’t see the damage that night but felt a bit heart-broken the next day on seeing that. You see when you are 10 years old, the heart breaks at such things – you don’t know then what bigger things would break your heart when you grow up. But the good thing at that age is that the heart easily mends itself too.
Then there was one Diwali, when I was mesmerized by a “snake” – it’s a black colored tablet and if you light it with a matchstick, then it starts extending and ultimately you see a small, thin snake like structure, which on touching turns to ash. It made the courtyard of my house so dirty that I was nicely scolded but of course, who listens to that when you are having so much fun :-). I must have been 8 years old then.
Of course, time passes fast and now I am fast-forwarding to a time when I would have been 14/15 years old. In the city where I spent a major part of my life (Lucknow), there is a very nice trend. People go visit each other’s homes during festivals. It is all the more interesting there because the Hindus go to their Muslim friends’ homes to wish them during Eid and the Muslims go to their Hindu friends’ homes to wish them during Holi/Diwali. There is no religious animosity among the common people. So I had a little friend of mine – probably 5 years old. She came to visit us with her mother on Diwali and I still can remember the look on her face when she saw me dressed up in the traditional dress. She uttered that I looked like a princess! It’s funny because at that time, I hardly had any money of my own and the child compared me to a princess. That was my moment of feeling nice about myself. I wish there were more such moments to feel good..
Now fast-fast-forwarding to one Diwali that I had to spend in Bangalore – I had to cancel my vacation because I was in between jobs at that time. Thankfully there were some people in the apartment, who invited me to their homes for Diwali else I’d have felt really bad if I were alone. I remember packing Coke with some “Namkeen” packets to take to their homes – as during festivals, it’s customary to take a present to the home of someone you are going to meet. Why that one is vivid – because there was a couple who invited me and then a few days later, I got to know that they were having trouble in their marriage and they got divorced. But on Diwali day, they made me feel welcome in their home and that I can never forget.
Let’s see what memories do I make on this Diwali. I wish something so wonderful happens that it over-writes all that I have written above! Fingers crossed :-)..