Saturday, October 21, 2006

Deepavali Dhool

Diwali, inarguably the biggest festival in India, evokes strong emotions from all parts of the country. Truly a momentous occasion, it sparks off sentiments unmatched by any other Indian festival. The country truly comes to life with a great feeling of goodwill and happiness harboured by one and all. It is a festival that treads past religious barriers, bringing together a feeling of communal harmony and certainly a harbinger of peace. The baton is passed across generations and generations of lineage without any distortion and break up. The spirit has remained the same always, without a trace of boredom. In spite of that, Diwali is not just a routine every year, with every year being a fully filling experience.

In India, Diwali is directly related to the economy. Almost everyone is attracted by the magnitude of the festival, and nobody wants to be left behind. Shopping is taken to new heights with attractive offers from every superstore lined up well in advance, and the post Diwali shopping scenario takes it well past Diwali. People take time to come out of the frenzy and they take a long time to do that. In the current age of the software industry, and pressing deadlines, with a fast pace of life, people still do not compromise when it comes to spending time with family members during Diwali. The official holiday for Diwali is just a day, but people take almost a week off from the daily repetitive walk of life to come out of the blues of everyday life. No wonder, everyone gets charged up and excited about Diwali more than a month in advance of the actual festival. On the day of Diwali, even a bat would get up early in the morning to stay in tune with the events for the day. The television programmes would start from early morning and continue well past midnight. This is the best time for everyone to make money - starting from the street vendors to multinational advertisement companies. The feeling of togetherness is taken to new heights with every festival and Diwali adds spice to this wonderful moment. The telephone does not stop ringing in the morning, what with numerous calls from numerous relatives and friends. During Diwali, people make it a point to wish as early as possible and the calls arrive right from 4 AM, as anything beyond 7 AM is considered late! Though, there are talks from environmentalists about the cons of bursting crackers, pollution and its hazards to the surroundings take a backseat amidst children and elders alike, and everyone gears up to wake the neighbourhood with a 100 wala. It is a wake up call to the sleeping thugs.

Staying away from home makes you realise the importance of customs and festivals back home with a renewed vigour and energy. The unimaginable feeling during Diwali sinks in deeply as you sit back the night before Diwali, thinking about the wonderful things happening back home. The aura of the festival just binds you tightly with everyone around, and for a moment, nostalgia takes centerstage like never before. Diwali - spirited, colourful, lively and unexplainable in words. If in India, bask in the glory of the most important festival of the year, and just cherish the good times. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous Diwali!

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