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Wednesday, November 10, 2004



Another opportunity to turn night into days :)
Too busy with stuff right now... shall right my memories of Diwali over the coming weekends. Till then have a happy & prosperous new year.

As kids Diwali was a whole lot of fun. First of all it meant the house was thoroughly cleaned - we'd take soap and water and literally wash the house from end to end as if we had to wash away the evil from it or something - but for us kids it was more of playing in the soapy water and slipping on the floors and laughing our heads off when anyone fell. Then there'd be stuff made especially for Diwali – sweets (mithai) such as magaj, mohanthal, ghari, and ghughra and salty (namkeen) items like mathiya, fafra, chaklis and chivdas. New clothes were something we looked forward to with great anticipation - we already knew what we were going to buy each diwali. [These Gujarati delicacies are your perfect excuse to give up on dieting & keep hogging all the way!]

The house had this festive atmosphere. We'd try out so many new things to make the house look festive - we'd light real diyas and they'd keep going off so one person was assigned the duty to keep them burning. Then we'd take these small glasses filled with water and float the diyas in them so that they burnt for longer and we had this thing called cool floating diyas. As kids our eyes were always on the flame.

Diwali holds absolutely happy memories because we were all together - the whole family, the people in my building, the kids all trying out daring things with crackers and getting scolded for it and falling into giggles - it's always been great fun. My dad has four brothers and a sister in Hyderabad. So for those six days around Diwali we have a tradition of arranging get-togethers and have breakfast at one house per day. On the day of Diwali we have Laxmi Pujan & Chopda Pujan at the shop and then we go and wish everyone at their respective shops and have lots of good stuff to eat. Each of us is well known for our specialty and is expected to be present with it. As kids the best part of Diwali we to go to everyones house and shop to wish them saal mubarak and that we'd be fed with great Diwali mithai. Our taste buds and our palate seem to make such a powerful impression on our minds that our fondest memories are those triggered off by food. When love is strongly associated with such remembrances they become the core of our being and provide succor even much later in life. A time for optimism every year.

Diwali was so special during childhood because it was associated with the 'Diwali vacation' too - it meant feast time in every way. For some reason diwali suggests joy - it's about everything new and bright. New clothes, even new shoes, new jewellery - starting from the feet till the head we got everything new - it was so exciting.

Amongst all four Diwali days, I adore the Laxmi Puja day and Bhai Dooj.

In essence - Diwali means traditional clothes, family get-togethers, scrumptious food and loads of fun. Diwali is a time to bond with your relatives

I was so glad I could get in touch with Sachi, Avinash, Schow, Naga, & Basanti before Diwali. After Diwali I got in touch with Tatha, Hetu, Dhiendra, Nitesh & Siva.

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