For me, Diwali holds beautiful memories. It is the festival of lights. We celebrate it by lighting up the surroundings. Tiny Earthen lamps are used for this purpose. More of a ritual, I think. Gifts and sweets exchanged and of course, it is never complete without bursting crackers.
However, it is not same since my dad passed away. I remember he was the most enthusiastic of us all. He was not much into gift –giving. He left it for my mom. Nevertheless, he used to get us the best of crackers. He taught me about wiring, holders and bulbs when I was barely 7 years old. I was always tagging along and he had no other option. He and I used to put up the lights together until he was gone.
After him, I did not feel like continuing the tradition. Somehow, on the eve of Diwali in the year, he was gone; I got out all the lights and sat down to check each one before putting those up. My brothers and their families were due to arrive at anytime. My mom looked at what I was doing. Without a word, she sat down with me. I checked the holders, wiring and bulbs. Mechanically repairing where there was a disconnection.
I put those lights, switched those on after plugging it. When the whole place lit up, I felt that my dad was there and as usual, I was helping him putting those up. All was done before my brothers arrived. I need not tell you their reaction other than that they hugged me!
My dad is gone. Not his memories. When I put up those lights each Diwali, I feel so much closer to him. I know he would have been proud of me. I did not let what he had taught me die away. I kept right on. I even give out money to all my nephews and nieces along with the gifts I get for them. My dad used to give them cash not knowing what to buy for them. I have to carry on what he used to do.
What I write here are not holiday memories or traditions. They are part of our lives, our living. I have to keep the memories alive for the kids. I do it as best I can.
Option Five: Timed writing for Cafe Writing for December Project.