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It’s that time of year again. No, not the time for turkey or Christmas trees as much as I love that time of the year as well. It is the time for Diwali! Time for joy abound. Delicacies sweet and sour. Colorful dresses. Family Traditions and Time With Friends.
But with all it’s joys, it is in truth also that time of the year when –
My Family Gets Nervous As I Start Spring Cleaning
Diwali means getting the house in pristine condition. Before Holi and before Diwali are two times when I ruthlessly de-clutter and spare no object the broom. Of course during this course many much needed but never used objects get tossed or donated. When I start the battle against clutter, the banshee within me rears her head in exhaustion and my family dreads this phase.
Thanks to my husband, I know better than to do it all in one day or week even. So now I prep for this slowly and steadily and remember to breathe, take breaks and know it’s not the end all!
The Festive Decoration Plays Hide and Seek.
We love our Deepavali decor and can’t wait to put it around the house for that warm festive feeling. Except they decide to play hide and seek with me. Every year I can swear I know where I had put them last year but yet again, I have to go on a treasure hunt to find them.
Last year, I wrote the location in my phone. Easy peasy.
The Tangled Lights Create Havoc
The tangled Diwali/Christmas lights have to untangled. Sigh! My husband dreads finding those little bulbs that come what may will not light up.
We wrap them around a cardboard cut out and keep a lot of little extra bulbs handy. But this year for Diwali, I’m going to surprise my husband with a light organizer ( yes, it’s a thing ! ) that’s pretty cool.
Rangolis Continue To Be My Nemesis
Who doesn’t love beautiful Rangoli designs to adorn their doorway. But if you are anything like me, and totally uncoordinated when it comes to making intricate designs, you can feel my frustration.
Thank God for Stencils and Sidewalk chalk. Because, why not ?!
I Fret About What to Wear
What do I wear? I don’t get to go to India very often. With my family in Kuwait and air fare being sky high for God knows what reason, it is not easy for me to stay totally updated with fashion trends. Come festive season, I get nerves thinking of what I will wear. Specially when I hear of all the beautiful new fashion that’s come in traditional wear from friends.
Luckily, I don’t worry about being “trendy” for more than a few minutes. I wrap myself into the gorgeous saris I have and have blast enjoying the festivities. I even make up my own trend by going Indo-western, that is mixing western wear with Indian accessories.
The Smoke Detectors Cry
My smoke detectors wail in agony at the Diyas that I make on Dhanteras smoke up the home. It takes me a hour and half to make those beautiful diyas from flour and the detector rejects them in 10 mins.
To that end, this year I bought prelit candles that are just awesome. These are what I will use along with my precious home made diyas. Take that you, smoke detectors you!
We Miss Celebrating With Crackers
It’s sad every year when the HOA sends a circular to not light up any sparklers or firecrackers of any kind because it’s forbidden by our county. I never had the pleasure of bursting crackers when I was in Kuwait so I don’t miss it much but from having lived in India for a couple of years I know how much fun they are to rejoice with. I so wish my kids could have that joy.
So what we do instead?
- We collect dry leaves, twigs etc and use these to create a bonfire in your back yard.
- Fill up balloons with glitter or pieces of colored paper. Burst these in the evening for a vibrant ambiance.
- Kids could even blow up paper bags and burst giving you the cheerful sound of crackers.
- Did I mention I make Diyas out of wheat flour? The kids have a blast making them.
The Kids Wonder Yet Again Why We Celebrate Diwali
When I was young I did not understand and even negated the beauty of the mythology of Ramayan. I could not find respect in my heart for a avataar of God who would exile his wife for no fault of her own. But now, over the years I have understood that it is not just a story to glorify God in the incarnation of Ram. It is a way to teach kids real world values.
So, I encourage my kids to ask questions about the story and try to explain in the simplest form. It is a story where
- We should not be so hard on ourselves when we make mistakes.
- That when you do not pay heed to the warnings of those you love, you suffer.
- That not respecting women, can lead to the downfall of even Kings.
- That the happiness one feels when a child comes home is priceless!
But that is of course some of my interpretation. Anyone who reads scriptures or mythology derives their own meanings and using them to grow in their own life!
We Miss Our Family Back Home Terribly
This is the biggest frustration of today’s times and living so far from family. A home is not a home without family and as I mentioned the ridiculous air fares make it extremely hard to celebrate this special time together.
How do we deal with it ? Thank God for the age of Video calling and Instant Messaging . Also, we spend a lot of time making cards, decor, food and cleaning to avoid the insane sadness in the pit of our stomachs. Denial has it’s advantages for we get a LOT done and create tonnes of memories in the process.
With all it’s trials and tribulations, Diwali still ends up being one of the most blessed and fun times with friends sharing their time with us. The music, the ambiance of the diyas/candles, the yummy food and the companionship of those we care for more than make up for any woes we need to endure.