So the festival of lights has come and gone. The house looks bereft without its lamps and the candles that lit the various corners. The sweets have been distributed and the friends have all gone back to regular life. There is almost a feeling of incompleteness like the one day we spent celebrating one of the biggest Indian festivals is just not enough. To be honest, it isn’t. Particularly since the morning of the festival which is spent greeting people and meeting family and looking forward to the celebrations is spent sending kids to school and getting dressed for work. Evenings are slightly better since a visit to the temple and meeting friends for dinner and some fireworks does somewhat resemble what happens back home. The house is decorated with lamps. We all wear new clothes. We go to the house of a friend for the Lakshmi Puja and dinner. The kids all play together, there is sharing of sweets and savouries and music.
But it is what it is and I am glad that within the close set of friends that we have here, we have managed to retain the spirit of the festival. We are providing our children with a glimpse of the festivities back home. And in my opinion we have retained the best aspects of the festival. There isn’t the mindless eating or the shopping or the keeping up with the Jones-es attitude. We manage to buy one Indian outfit for the festival, some years we have recycled clothes since said child outgrew the Diwali outfit due to a sudden growth spurt. Only enough mithais are made to share with friends and family. And the whole fireworks part of the day is restricted to a mere half hour where kids use up the fireworks left over from the 4th of July celebrations. City ordinances do not permit noisy crackers or ones that fly into the air so the children’s idea of fireworks include sparklers, and phuljharis. Plus most fireworks are noise-free. So it makes for a light-filled, peaceful Diwali.
The evening involves reminiscing about how we celebrated the festival when we were kids. The unique customs and traditions that each of us followed in our respective homes, how we are trying to include some of those traditions in our households now. We share the festivities with family back home by way of pictures. Looking at all those smiling faces, the lamps, the goodies made by moms and aunts makes the distance seem lesser, fills up the empty spaces in our heart, some.
In that same sense, here I am sharing Diwali with all of you by way of pictures. Please feel free to include a picture or two in your comments so I can feel that I was part and parcel of your celebrations, too.
In case you were wondering about the aftermath of Diwali that I mentioned in the heading – in addition to going through Diwali withdrawal, we are also dealing with the stomach flu. DD brought the bug home from school and has now passed it onto me. So we have been dealing with stomach aches and feeling yucky without the aid of all the food made for Diwali. Ugh!!