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Lights, Crackers and Snacks
The festival of golden lights, gracious flowers and glorious delicacies…
Diwali – the festival of lights, is a real blast of colors and sugary delights. Okay. I have never celebrated one in my lifetime. But… I had the opportunity to see and enjoy it, only once. And that was what made it more exhilarating.
When I was in college, I have lots of Hindu friends, but I have never seen them celebrate Diwali. I had eaten loads of Diwali sweets and delicacies, though, and those confectionaries still make me drool.
A friend of mine would bring ‘Boondhi Laddu’ whenever there is a celebration and the number of Laddu would be higher when she came to college the day after Diwali. And that day… we would have a huge party during classes, eating Laddu under the desk, passing the lunch box amidst friends and hearing boring lectures. Those were the memories that always put a smile on my face.
So whenever I hear the word Diwali, I remember the Laddu and our happy times eating them.
Do I sound like a glutton for punishment? I am.
The second thing I remember about Diwali is crackers. Colorful fireworks, splitting like stars on the sky… lightning the streets… booming like a rocket… I love watching the sky during festivities, bright with red, orange, yellow sparkles of light.
These were the two things I could always think when coming to Diwali. But a year changed it all.
Yesteryear I had a chance to witness Diwali celebration after I moved to Bangalore. And the most important thing was, I could be the spectator of three types of Diwali celebration in a single year.
Yah. Our apartment have a Tamil family, a Kannada family and a Telugu one. So imagine the surprise of the girl who had never once witnessed Diwali. I could perceive and enjoy the mutual respect between diverse people and their unique way of celebrations.
In the country as wide as India, similarities are rather small. But what made our country standing is its diversities and the understanding between people and I had the opportunity to enjoy diverse celebrations on single day, for a single occasion. How cool was that!
Deepavali (தீபாவளி), as we call in Tamil Nadu is celebrated with homemade sweets, gifts for family, Pujas, Diya lights and crackers.
That day of Deepavali during 2013, I was lost in my slumber land, thinking it was just another day. There came a knock that woke me up. I was too dizzy to understand things, but when the Tamil sister next door handed me a plate filled with Diwali sweets, I realized that this wasn’t going to be just another day for me. Her kid and she wore a new dress and she said that they had already went to temple for Puja after taking an oil bath, early in the morning. On a oh-so-cold-day!!! *shivers*
The plate contained dishes like Murukku, Adhirasam, Jahangiri, Rava Laddu etc. and I finished it all in a single sitting. That evening, her little kids fired crackers and I watched it through the windows.
The third day of Diwali, when I went out, I could see the large Rangolis made of flower and color powders. It was so beautiful and done with special care by the sister from Karnataka. She also used multiple lights to decorate the kolam and there were lines of Diya lights along the compound wall in the building. She also said that they gave importance to first and third day of Diwali and the third day called ‘Bali Padyami’ and during that day, they would sketch the Rangoli. That day, the whole street was filled with colorful patterns that I jumped instead of walking, so as not to destroy the beautiful art. I looked like a kangaroo 😉
The telugu family next door also had a bright kolam and their door was decorated with large garlands of flowers. Also, they had a small bell hanging in the front and the windows were lined with diya lamps. The whole apartment looked bright that day, with golden lights.
And that year… the Diwali celebration was an unforgettable one for me.
However this year… they all left the apartment and so I knew this Diwali was going to be just another day for me. How Sad!
I will surely miss the sweets, the smell of crackers, the boisterous sound of children, the flower arts and the golden lamps…