Friday, October 24, 2008

Deepavali Wishes and a different tale



Monday, 10/27 is Deepavali day in South India. What that means is for folks like us living in US, we get to celebrate it on the weekend. A get-together with a bunch of friends, a potluck dinner and maybe lighting some lamps and wearing new clothes sums up the make-do version of this widely popular Indian festival.

For those who don't have parents or in-laws visiting, Komala Vilas in Sunnyvale sells Deepavali legiyam or marunthu, a medicinal mix that takes care of indigestion problem that may tend to occur while devoring on sweets and snacks during this festival.

It has been 8 years since I was there in India for Deepavali and frankly, I don't regret it. My fears with Deepavali go back to my childhood days when I was scared stiff of loud bursting crackers and while growing up in India, every year I would dread the arrival of Deepavali day, as it means I would be huddled under the bed with my ears stuffed with cotton scared of cracker noises. It would be a struggle for my parents to drag me to visit my grandparents place, as I would not step out of the house. My folks would compare me with the small child holding the 1000 walla in his hand and bursting it, while I couldn't even bear the noise. I would cry and howl in fear and my heart would beat so rapidly at those firework sounds, that nothing was worth the trouble for me. Over the years, the fear just wouldn't go away and I used to tell my folks that I can't wait to get out of India and come to US, so that I didn't have to endure this day.

Of course, wearing new clothes and enjoying the different sweets and savories and watching all the new movie release shows, new songs, Solomon Papaiyah's pattimandram and movies were the day's highlights. My poor mother would be in the kitchen all day cooking while I would be sitting on the couch watching TV without even an ounce of guilt. Those days, when my dad would tell me to go help her in the kitchen, I would never oblige him. But, sitting in a far away country and after years of growing up, I finally feel some remorse for not helping my mother and selfishly watching TV, while she never got to see any of the TV programs.

Also, growing up as an only child in a very nuclear family, the lack of cousins etc. only made the festival seem even less appealing to me.

I am happy to be here in US for this year's Deepavali too and wishing you and your families a very Happy and Joyous Deepavali, no matter where you are, soak in the spirit of the festival that lights up the hearts of many all over the world.

29 comments:

Usha said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family Mitr...every child reacts differently to crackers I guess, I remember my nephew used to howl when everybody was lighting crackers around him because he was not used to the sound...

SASA said...

an exact replica of what my reaction to deepavali in india is to me! i am way too scared of those crackers even now..
happy diwali to you!

DEESHA said...

Wishing you N your family a great Deepavali

anudivya said...

Happy Deepavali to you & your family Mitr. Nice write up.

Uma said...

Nice post! Happy Deepavali to you and your family.

Aparna said...

Wishing you & ur family a very happy deepavali. I did not miss the firecrackers when I was in the US; cos I had stopped them when in school against child labour and later on against pollution. I loved them though!! I was one of those boisterous ones :)
Btw, I did make marundu when I was in NY. Recipe here . Did make the sweets and savouries....after all, that was all I did there - cook :)

Spillay said...

Hi Mitr. Wishing you and your family a very happy Deepavali!! :)

Laavanya said...

Happy Diwali Mitr.. nice to read your experiences as a kid.

Cham said...

You are exactly like me Mitr, I have such a terrible fear to those crackers even 4 small one , I close all the windows and I never step down on the road :) Even my son does the same for each and every July 4 th.....
Other than my parents presence I didn't miss anything in US. I celebrate with joy and happiness , as far we maintain all those traditions , I guess there is no missing....
Wish u a Happy Deepavali

Krishnan said...

Mitr: Wishing you and your family a Happy Deepavali.

Mavin said...

Wish you and your family a HAPPY DIWALI and a great year ahead.

Suman said...

Like you, never enjoyed the crackers part of Deepavali, and loved the pattimandram. Happy Deepavali to you and your better half.

Suman

Priya said...

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali:)

Damu said...

Wishing u all a happy Diwali ... tis s my first exp...outside home; njoy nd take care !

TBC said...

Happy Diwali to you too, Mitr! :-)

Priya said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family Mitr! I totally forgot about the marundhu but caught a little of the pattimandaram y'day :)

Raju said...

Happy Diwali to you and K!!

Vidhya said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family. Nice post.

Me said...

Happy Deepavali !

Jayashree said...

Hope you had a wonderful Diwali. I used to be terrified of crackers too....still am, though to a lesser degree.

Shankar said...

Hey Mitr, wish you a very Happy Diwali.... we grow up in India with a lots of things around us and Diwali is one such occasion which would seem so indifferent without all the noise!!

Lakshmi said...

Happy Deepavali..Im not scared of loud crackers..used to burst them myself when I was in college, but now I hate noise..

SriLekha said...

thanks for adding me to ur blog roll dear!

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