Deepavali brings a lot of memories along with it - the main being the anticipation that we felt earlier and has gone missing now. When I was growing up it was an occasion to look forward to new clothes and a whole lot of sweets. My mother would wake us up at dawn and we would have an oil bath before daybreak. The sweets and savories prepared earlier would be distributed. Crackers would be burst and we’d enjoy the day with carefree abandon. We’d go for fireworks at the club in the evening and get treated to a sumptuous dinner following the fireworks.
Then came a time when we became parents ourselves and things changed a bit. Oh yes, the early morning bath, and distribution of sweets was all there. But we had been elevated to the role of planners. Deepavali coincided with the time my husband received his annual bonus. We’d revise the budget over and over again making sure that everything was covered. Starting from curtains and bed linen to a shawl for my father in law as well as shoes for school going children everything would be included apart from the new clothes for every member of the family. It was a pleasure hunting for the best deals and contrary to the claim I make in my posts about not caring too much for shopping, I’d actually enjoy the experience. Sweets and savories were always home made except for jelebis that I do not know to prepare. When the children were small I would put them to sleep and start preparing sweets after 10 pm with my husband to assist me and together we would put them away in air tight steel containers sprinkling a little germaxine in and around the area to keep away the ants. This continued for the first 25 years of my marriage.
Has it changed now? In a way it has. I still prepare sweet for distribution because this is one occasion that my friends look forward to mainly because it is home made. I keep announcing that this year was the last time I was taking the trouble and we would order sweets from the caterers from ‘the next year’ and like ‘tomorrow’ it never seems to come. But all else has changed. It is long since I stopped shopping for Diwali. I seem to have a saree or two that I hadn’t worn and bed linen and curtains don’t have to be replaced every year. Moreover there is no bonus to look forward to so we buy stuff whenever we feel like it.
‘Tata Steel has announced 20% bonus and Tin plate only 15%’…………
That was once upon a time it has no meaning now.
The only anticipation we have now is that of phone calls from our near and dear ones including our children.
“A Very Happy Deepavali” to one and all of you.