That time of the year again when the air is misty and the sky is pretty, the verve is lively and life seems like all things happy. A certain nostalgia fills the environs and the festive aura is instantly discernible. It’s time for Diwali- that time of autumn when fallen leaves seems more romantic than the bloom of spring, when the boom of crackers sound like melody and the daintiest of diyas far outshines the glimmer of neon lights. With Diwali here and with winter setting in, we can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about the times gone by. Times that were simpler and times that has been witness to a carefree existence. For us grown ups now somehow trying to ace it in adulting, here’s some essentially Diwali vibes that bring back cherished memories to long for a lifetime-
While diwali has always been very much about diyas, it wasn’t just lighting up these quaint earthen pieces of prettiness that hold all the memories of the years gone by. Diwali nostalgia of our times stems from the essential yet relaxed preparations since day time.
Soaking the freshly procured diyas in water and leaving them to dry in the sun was a chore that we kids would all go about with utmost excitement. In fact, it felt nothing short of an achievement for us to get all the diyas ready for the ultimate show in the evenings, without crashing even a single of them!
Come Diwali and the endless string of lights hung from building and trees, spiralling through poles and grills, tastefully decorated along houses and walls would be such a pretty sight to revel in. The quintessential festival of lights, Diwali heralds a dusk of twinkles and fairylights, that illuminates not just the structure they adorn but also leaves our mind contented with a different kind of happiness.
However, it isn’t just the magic of the spark and the sheen that made Diwali all the more special for us. Frenzied Diwali preparations had us all come up with inventive ways to hang the lights year after year, to make our decorations the prettiest of the lot. And it wasn’t about just beautifying our own, it was also as much the excitement of getting to feel like grown ups with active involvement in every task that made us Diwali revelers roaming in and around the house in a sense of self- proclaimed supremity!
For kids like us who would be pathetically lacking in artistic inclination and ability of any kind whatsoever, having to work on the Rangoli would be a nightmare. And also a heartbreak. Every Diwali we would get our own hopes high by promising to try out something simple yet beautiful but the lingering sense of complex that swept over us had us all yearning for the most extravagant patterns, only to be left disappointed at our own apathy. All we could afford in such moments of despair was watch dismally as other talented kids went about their creativity with flair and finesse. Come evening however and all that gloom would dissipate at the sight of the many diyas that would embellish our disheveled yet somewhat pretty rangolis!
Now this would be the ultimate indulgence during the festival of the lights. Sparkling phuljharis, rotating chakris, erupting anaars, swooshing rockets, booming bombs and of course the colorful explosion of akashgangas, nothing can do up Diwali celebrations like crackers.
And wait, before you rub us off as dainty, worthless kids whose only job was to go mischievous with the crackers, we have our fair share of fame. Long before they were set on fire to ignite the festivities, it was we the children who would very excitedly take out packets full of crackers and leave them in the sun to amp them up so that they would crack with the utmost gusto in the evenings. Diwali for us meant chores and preparations as much as it did enjoyment and celebrations.
Diwali might be incomplete without crackers but it for sure is never complete without sweets as well! Like every other festival, what kept us up and going with the Diwali mood was the many food stuff we couldn’t wait to stuff ourselves with.
Whether it be staples like gujiyas and kaju katlis, soan papdis and besan ladoos, or the ingenious diya- shaped sweets, snackies like chaklis and mathris or more extensive spreads of luchis and kheers, Diwali encompasses food- and a whole lot of it. There’s nothing more blissful like sessions of snacking and feasting in between sessions of cracker bursting and frolicking to sum up the Diwali jovialness. Carefree evenings, crunchy snacks, chewy sweets and crackling fireworks- life had on offer all we could ask for and more!
The happy, vibrant mood of the Diwali extravaganza stars setting in much before D- day when we become party to endless boxes of assorted Indian sweets and dry fruits. The customary Diwali gifts, sweets prevailed in endless abundance in homes during those days, relished and gorged upon without even a care about burgeoning bellies and counting calories. Diwali has always been the occasion for indulgence and in those simpler days of yore, guilt free binging and barrier- barring gifting used to be the recipe for a grand celebration.
To sum it up all…
Waking up on a late holiday morning characterised by wafting fragrances of sweetmeats, the splutter of namkeens being cooked in oil, the many hands rolling the dough and shaping the ladoos, the dust being unsettled from stocked away Diwali lights, the cobwebs being taken down from that less frequented guest room to excitedly waiting for the evening when we will be out greeting family and friends, flaunting our best ethnic outfit, lighting the diyas, cupping the flickering flames from the gentle breeze, bursting crackers and gorging on all the deliciousness to continuing to burst crackers at least a couple of days pre and post Diwali, memories of the Festival of Lights are too precious to ever miss out on.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali!