Happy Deepavali everyone!
a then and now scenario
Then – A week before the day the streets are full of tiny stalls, selling fireworks of different kinds.
Now – zip.
Then – Mom starts making sweets and yum stuff a week before. Grandma helps around, and fingers are rapped if any are find stealing or “proof-tasting”.
Now – I hear various agonised laments over the phone from various friends.
“I tried making badam burfi, I burnt it *sob*”
“I made so much bakshanams, I am so sick of cooking”
“I sat up until 1 last night making kaju burfi and laddoos, and now am dozing off at my desk”
“My husband’s chomping on the kajjikayalu, as am frying them. This is so tiresome hiding stuff from an adult, an ADULT, can you imagine that?”
“o, no time to make anything, I just ordered it from that aweosme guy in NJ, it’s being fedexed overnite”
“sweets? Why bother, none of them eat at home, so will just go to temple and eat there”
and so on and so forth.
Then – Mom and us take turns lighting diyas outside the house all 10 days.
Now – String lights a week before on the ferns outside and having to explain “no, we are not early for Christmas, we are celebrating our own fete” – every year.
Then – Wake up to the sounds of fireworks, the smell of smoke, and sulphur, racing to beat the neighbor in bursting the 100walas, getting mad coz it is foggy already, having to share the sparklers, enjoying the laddoos, and the new clothes.
Now – Waking to the sound of the alarm, shaking the kids out of their beds, scrambling for new clothes, [nothing desi, everything videsi] forcing a teeny ant’d head piece of ladoo in their mouths, while they kick and scream.
Then – Diyas all around, wearing pretty pavadas, dressed up in gold and finery, and of course getting yelled at for not burning ourselves in all the fancy silks dangerously brushing with the fire, and crackers. A ritualistic burn that has to happen to one of us. Hearing shouts and screams, stepping onto the road to be with friends, see the road lit up, scattered with fireworks. Always in awe at the 1000walas and huge display the neighbors have.
Now – begging everyone to wear desi stuff, have diyas mixed with tealights out up front. Have a huge candle lit in a halloween paperbag for cover, wearing jackets coz the chill has already set in, do a few sparklers, a few fountains, and taking pictures. An occasional year when we have friends over in the middle of the week, and we are the only doofuses on the driveway, with not a non-desi soul in sight.
Then – Having to celebrate Diwali on the Diwali day. No matter if it is a Tuesday, a Friday or a Sunday.
Now – a minor celebration on Diwali day, with the main festivities pushed to the nearest weekend. Sorry, we are just too busy to pow-wow.
At the end of it all, it’s wonderful Diwali :) Enjoy!