Diyas and memories

Diwali it is and I’m so lucky to be at AJ this year. Though most of the family is not here, I did want to get those positive light vibes in the house. Appa and I got the diyas out and lit them up like we’ve usually done during the years past.

Brought back so many fond memories of celebrating the festival when we were kids. Starting right at 04:00 with Kitta Mama‘s 1000 Walla, Appa and Amma’s push to get us that pre-dawn morning shower, the house bustling with activity as sweets and savories are consumed quicker than they’re made, neighbors drifting in and out exchanging wishes and gifts, kids bragging on the volume of firecracker purchase, bursting crackers near oblivious strangers in the colony, smoke of various hues of green and orange bellowing from that ‘snake’ firecracker, appa bursting the ‘lakshmi bomb’ using a pair of tongs, and amma -oh looking so beautiful- cautiously lighting the ‘sparkler’ while keeping an eye on all of us.

This is one festival really close to my heart since it reminds me so much of the good times we had with Amma. I so wish she were around with us today and it’s just not fair that she left us so early. It’s been 21 years and it feels just yesterday we were on that hospital terrace watching fireworks during her last Diwali. But then to think of it, nothing really is the same as before. The celebration across the colony is heavily dampened. Those old neighbors have moved out. Folks now use digital lights if at all they do light up their houses. Barely anyone is actually bursting fire crackers. In essence, it feels like the spirit of celebration is quite diluted for whatever reason. Time flies and I’m glad some memories remain etched.

Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones. There’s so much power in those tiny flickering flames.

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