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.