It is gratifying that there are some things in our lives that never change; you still go home on Diwali or at least you still hang out the lights, the corner-store still makes the most delicious malai barfi and in the bustle of all the festival frenzy, you always find something new to wear. Where I live, the lights come out, and hang across the market, like a sheet between ground and sky. You look up, and don’t see the moon, but a dazzling array of light. The marketplace really comes alive. Emcees hang with mics and passerby’s’, music blares from speakers at the corner of every lane, and shoppers and marketers and families and friends throng the streets. It is the same spectacle of grandeur, and light and love that you can turn to unfailingly, year after year. And, year after year, nothing changes.
You can walk the streets of Lokhandwala all alone, and yet never for a moment, feel alone. You can be stuck in another unending jam through the evening maze of shoppers, and yet look up at the sky of fairy lights, forgiving. It’s a bit like the friends who always stay, the old and decrepit bungalow by your house that never goes away, your grandma’s favourite razai you wake up to every day. The little nuances of life that remain, even as people and places and you yourself, go galloping by.
As I walk through the market Sunday evening, I am thankful- I am home, and home again. And, I think that even if I were not, my life would follow the same unchanged pattern of 12-brightly-lit-diyas, a big, simmering pot of curry , phone calls from friends and kurtas in beautiful bright prints in happy colours. My mind would still traverse the lights and sound of the Diwali that I have grown up with,
And hearteningly, what holds this festival for me, will never change.
I am always running, but this week will always pause: and I will turn to the kitchen and the passage ways and the dry cleaners and address books: and cull out all the traditions that make Diwali what it is.
And if not, the memory of it will remain.
[A very Happy Diwali to all of you 🙂 Thank You for reading!]
Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate a profound truth about life — when the darkness within is dispelled through the light of wisdom; the good in us wins over the evil. ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar