I do remember it was not like this when we were younger. We only bought crackers and candles but lighted earthen lamps which the tradition demanded. Sweets were prepared at home and shared with family, friends and neighbours. We all gathered at one place and burst crackers to our heart’s content. We felt so elated by new clothes which were mostly stitched by the local tailor. We only bought those stuff which was needed and not something we had to, just for the heck of it.
After we worshipped the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi along with elephant God Ganesha, we lighted earthen lamps and candles. We spent all day soaking those earthen lamps in the sun and drying them in the sun. Come evening, we filled those with oil, put wicks and lighted those. Now electric lights have taken their places. We just get them and hang them. Kind of impersonal, I think. I used to have great fun bursting crackers with my three brothers. We used to compete who would burst the loudest of the lot. Though my mom wanted me to stay away from it all, I never listened. She always insisted I dress up traditionally on Diwali and not my usual attire of Jeans and a cast off tee ofone of my brothers. I listened to her as long as I was allowed to be one of the boys as my dad used to say.
Now everything seems to have changed. We just buy everything, sweets, cakes, chocolates, lights and clothes. We do not bother about the small things that matters. Consumerism is at its hilt. We are more into showing off. We get gifts and get them gift wrapped by the shop itself. We do not add any personal touch. We do not even have time for each other.
I don’t have anything against change. That is inevitable but what I really miss is the closeness we had with each other, with friends and neighbours. Now everything comes down to who bought what for whom.
This year I went off to my brother’s place for Diwali. My middle brother too turned up along with his family. After we offered our prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha, time just did not have any meaning. I had a great time bursting crackers with them and their kids. I was back being one of the boys while my mom looked on indulgently and my dad blessed us from up there. Some things never change….