Diwali is about love, carving ‘mithai’ moments lending a touch of sweetness, crush and craving or naughtiness to our childhood moments making an enthralling affair and we waited for an entire year for the festival of light to happen. Remember the teenage days of slipping away with a box of the best and carefully selected mithai to drop at your crush’s house and telling her Dad that your parents have specially sent for them! Kuch rishtey banane se hoti. Wink. If she ever smiles behind the curtain, well take your chance for it’s Diwali.
Remembering the brand new clothes and when your Mom with the help of Dad making mithai in the childhood days when probably Soan Papdi or buying outside never existed in the dictionary! Yes! I remember waiting for the day and seeing Mom making delicacies and savories on the eve and Diwali day to wearing the best of Kurta Pyjama to look cool and ek dum hero style. Yes! Perhaps, the only day to look traditional and dapper best in the ordinary white Kurta Pyjama. The fancy colored never hit home since we belonged to a middle-class family or the lack of exposure and no pretense ever existed in our simple Diwali. Ah! 90s Diwali.
Of course, the shararat during the day couldn’t be missed for always coming first to stealing sweets before being offered to the Gods and Goddesses and the triumph of landing the sweets first. I could have been the Lord and wondering how come the latter never had the idea of grabbing their share first. Of course, I will always miss the Indian celebration of Diwali, during the college days and where the entire gang decked in colorful Indian traditional attire would visit Adi’s home and a whole silver plate of sweet filled with a variety and diverse mithai in front of us, you name it, you get it and uncle forcing us to munch. Aunty would make the best of coffee and I personally waited to have it with my share of sweets. Diwali wasn’t done yet and the day would end with beer and playing Truth and Dare till the wee hours. The moments stayed forever!
This time, I went minimal with shopping and got myself a cool Jodhpur ethnic shoes to pair with the Kurta Pyjama making it a sobering Diwali minus crackers. Don’t remember the last time I burst patakha and has always been dead against them. The only disappointment is the place where I normally buy my Indian mithai hasn’t been really putting the sweets this time and made two to three trips this week to see them go dutch. All the years, the sweet mart was filled with a huge crowd, of Indian expats and locals, vying for the mouth-watering delicacies but this time was plain shut. The only solace in front of the shop was a table and met this Rajasthani guy offering Katli, barfi, motichur ladoo. mohantlal or besan ki barfi which I ultimately settled for. Ped and Kaju rolls are what I wanted but mysteriously disappeared. Guess, got make do with the ones available in Phoren land and of course, Soan Papdi mandatory in every Indian house in Desh and abroad.
Diwali is the time of the year we anticipate joy, fun to light the wick in the earthen and colorful lamps. It’s a routine exercise at home on the festive day with mom doing the prayer, filling the sweets in the bags to be distributed and decked in traditional Kurta and Pyjama or sari for the ladies. Gorging on sweets is a pleasurable activity where I exceeded all limits and did the same this time.
The traditional Puja lamp was lit on Choti Diwali by Mom and the dabba filled with sweets was placed on the thalis as offering. This time, I was on a strict diet and medication since I have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. But, then, Diwali doesn’t come every day and indulged by trying to live up to my favorite phrase, ‘Koi bhi bahana chalega.’
The colorful wax candles were so much fun to light on Diwali. Aren’t they beautiful? Someone could have mistaken them for the colorful barfi on the plate.
I love the traditional earthen lamps and they look beautiful at night. Sorry for the quality of pictures on my old Kodak digital camera. No Diwali can happen without the beautiful earthen lamps.
On Diwali eve, I got the wax colorful candles which is imported from India and enjoyed lighting them as they reflect the true spirit of the festival. As it is, I am dead against fire crackers. This time also, the festival brought in some lovely surprise when I least expected in the form of extra money where I got myself a polo t-shirt, shirt and steel lota for Mom to perform her morning prayer.
This time Diwali taught me to slow down and didn’t do any work but lazed around for five days, including Diwali day. The joy of not doing anything particular, no pressure to work round-the-clock but just be with the self, doing yoga, long walks, reading my book and watching movies. Be the light, like they say.
Got the Rangoli sticker from the market. I want to learn how to make Rangoli but had to make do with this beautiful and colorful one since I lack the artistic skill. Wish that your life becomes more colorful like the lights and Rangoli this season.
The colorful candle lamps were bought last year but this time, I recycled it by pouring oil to turn them into lamps. The colors are very vibrant and we have kept it for every festive season till it lasts.
The mithai, candles, Diwali bags, Haldiram’s Soan papdi and Ganesha makes for a cool display in true Diwali spirit.
Wish you all an extraordinary year filled with sweetness, love, money and no dearth of anything from intimacy to liquor, like one of my friend’s jhakaas Diwali message. Be the light and happiness. Hope you enjoy the pictures of our Khushi wali Diwali at home.
Happy Diwali people. Wish you love, abundance of wealth, limitless alcohol, spicy sex and of course, perfect health, blessing and happiness soaring in the sky. May you not suffer from the dearth of anything and shed the darkness for a better India removing religious, caste or class and gender prejudices. May the dream of every child come true and we remove poverty. Let the wisdom prevail so that we become tolerant of each other. Sharing a new chapter from the Pune Memoirs on the Diwali spent in the final year of 2005.
Pune Memoirs 2005/06
November 1,Diwali 2005,
Fergusson College Road:
The last year of togetherness. Lights kindled and flashed inside our hearts. The friendship, lifetime memories carved over three years. Our Diwali moments of celebrating the bond of forevers and evers. Love, unadulterated moments of happiness and the laughter. Who knows where we would be in the next year, separated by the distance or some relations will strangely grow apart.
We wanted to make the most. I was already feeling the emotional pang and shuddered to think that next year, that we may not celebrate together and the Diwali eve was spent planning how to shed the tight pocket-money at MG Road and Laxmi Road to shop for a plain and simple white Kurta. I wasn’t too much into colorful attire during those days and dunno why.
The eve of Diwali started early morning to ensure that I avoid last minute rush and don’t miss anything on earth in the final year, rushing my way to the sweet mart at Dyaneshwar Paduka Chowk that was within walking distance of the apartment. There was no time to lose and stormed past the crowd making a beeline for Mithai but made a quick exit after Neraj buzzed. The man was always on a shopping spree festival or not and he is the best man to take along shopping for Kurta Pyjama and what’s not. After all, Diwali is the time to indulge in the favorite mouth-watering Gulab Jamun on every corner of the street. We hopped on the rickshaw during the early sunshine, plodding our steps under Pune’s scorching sun like flaneurs to explore the shops from the huge ones or the small ones wading past the corridor of old buildings.
Finally, we zeroed on a shop and the shop walla spread the cotton Kurta Pyjamas one after the other on the table where I was almost game to grab something. But, Neraj hard pressed my leg that was his way of protesting not to take, either it was too expensive or the material not good enough for the price. We got out and kept walking to enter shops and exiting as quickly as possible. Me being me, such a difficult person to please when it comes to shopping. I think that we spent the entire day at MG Road and cutting corners in Camp but ended not buying anything. We came back to FC Road. I accompanied K and M to Laxmi Road, wriggling the way among the crowd that occupied every space on the road, feeling lost at times in which shop to enter or not.
Met a classmate and we cheerfully greeted each other Happy Diwali and the festive season is a time where there are bright chances of meeting friends or random acquaintances who are on a shopping fest with family. Now, I am not very sure and faintly remember which Kurta I got and where. But, I did! Laxmi Road offers such a beautiful sight of the shops glittered with lights, displaying the materials, the colorful crowd spreading and unfurling at length on the bustling road teeming with activity.
D-Day arrived on November 1. I haven’t yet got the sweets and after lazing around in the room, having cups of tea or coffee, headed to Savera our college hang out. I went back to the same sweet mart sweating among the crowd to push my way that was an excruciating sort of time to select the different variety of sweet meat. It felt like being in the middle of war. Finally, it was done and time to head back to the room where each and every one of us waited, in turn, to enter the small kitchen to sort out and pack our sweets in tiny dabbas to distribute to our near and dear ones.
Decked in the white Kurta and Pyjama, I trod my steps in the sunshine-laden afternoon and careful to avoid the first splash of crackers on my way while walking towards Model colony off FC Road where the famous Police Ground lingers to meet my favorite and personal Doctor, AB. She was my first doctor when I first came to the city and over the year, I became family. I gave a call or knocked on the door and Ma’am came down to wish me and took me upstairs where I met Sir who along with her run the clinic, greeted me with the mandatory Happy Diwali.
Ma’am ushered me inside the Puja room for prayer and once it was done, the ritual of exchanging mithai was over, I sat by the table where a sumptuous treat waited with mithai and namkeen spread along with tea. I was wondering how to stuff so much in the stomach and my good doctor’s first priority it seemed was to make me taste and eat in huge quantity. I protested but she was like, ‘Aaj Diwali hai. You can go on a diet for the rest of the year.’ Of course, she was not done and as a parting gift, gave me a bundle of sweet variety enough to feed the entire of our flatmates and friends for days that dinner could be deleted from the dictionary.
It was not over for the day. The next visit was at Adi’s parents’ home in the Peth areas and people who know the city will vouch that this region is no less than an explosion ground on Diwali day where crackers zoom in the air. Walking on FC road and dropping at Savera for tea which was a must in those days to meeting friends on the way, exchanging Diwali hugs to finally hop my way inside the rickshaw facing the barrage of crackers exploded by the over-enthusiastic kids on the street who laughed behind you as you jolt your way back and forth. I have always hated and abhorred crackers. As the rickshaw rode past Mhatre bridge to enter the Peth area, it felt like an explosion and being in the middle of war zone, the crackers not only burst and spluttered its might right in front of the passenger as the skillful rickshaw driver spun the vehicle from left to right.
The familiar hall at Adi’s house wore the colorful decorations and sweets were splayed on a golden tray on the table while everyone lined up in colorful attire, Kurtas and saree. I hopped my way straight in the kitchen to touch aunty’s feet and of course, coffee was my obvious choice since she makes the best coffee in the world. It’s Diwali and any excuse is a good one, with uncle telling us to have more, me grabbing the mithai with both hands be it ferni, barfi, ladoo and the favorite Gulab Jamun. We were having the best times of life, laughing and relishing every moment. It’s another thing that between having delicacies, the forwards messages kept hitting the inbox to our generation, who was alien to WhatsApp.
The evening was spent hopping to the restaurant on JM Road for dinner and at first, I refused saying it’s my sweet day but Adi forced me to order like grandpa shouting, ‘Have a proper dinner you asshole.’ The night was spent downing bottles of Kingfisher beer as we squatted on the floor and still in Diwali attire past midnight. The empty beer bottles rolled on the floor close to our legs and feet as we played Truth-and-Dare to unveil our darkest secrets, from the latest crush in college or the one we lusted for. Of course, for me, it’s always Truth and no dare.
It feels like yesterday only when we were college kids celebrating Diwali with gay abandon and as I look back wondering where all those flawless years have disappeared.
hundred lamps lit inside the heart,
years may have passed or elapsed,
emotions of celebrating Diwali and bonding remains,
Tyohar ka Mauka! Koi bhi bahana chalega. A Diwali sparkled with khushiyon (Happiness) like the quivering tune of the angel whispering the song of life in my ears and flowing in my soul. It’s been an endearing Diwali splashing on colorful lamps, Mithai and candles. Diwali is the time to make new promises and rekindle hope, love and warm the heart with sweetness. The time ushered in to make all disappointment and defeat disappear in the desert.
There were a couple of years where I didn’t feel like celebrating Diwali because I was going through a rough patch which persisted but so far, 2016 has been good to me and looking forward to a brilliant year unfolding post lighting the lamp in my heart, spreading cheers in my surrounding. I am a great believer in vibes and spreading the love. I feel like a new-born, being treated with the festival of light showering its love and blessings on me after ages. I relished each and every moment of lightning piercing my heart. Sharing with you all few of my Diwali clicks on Kodak.
Being colorful is me. This time, I splurged and emptied my pockets on the colorful lamps, in all colors and a pack with Ganesha beautifully sculpted, and Mithai bags that caught my fancy. Isn’t it beautiful?
I love the earthen lamps and nothing beats the joy of lighting them which rings in happiness in loads.
The Mithai laid on the thali on the table in the living room and my colorful candles. Bought lots of Mithai and the ones prepared by Mom.
I believe in being colorful in the dark night with my best Kurtas which I got six years back. Can you believe that? It’s as new as the first time I wore them.
Who says there is darkness? It’s Diwali! The picture was taken by my neighbor who has a good eye for photography unlike me who lack the basic. The light in the nightfall fascinates me and how! It’s like our hearts where the earthen lamp lights up everything.
Yours truly lighting the lamps and candles, surrounded by the mouth-watering sweets to spread love all around.
My favorite colorful lamps standing tall outside and flames igniting our hearts never to quench the passion of life.
The favorite candles and lamps snuggled together to make it an earthen affair, spreading light all over the place.
Mom is so reluctant to pose for the shutterbug and lots of convincing goes around. But, it’s Diwali ka Tyohar and Mom wilfully posed.
Hope you people had a lovely Diwali and sharing love, vibes to make your year filled with Dhamaka. Share your Diwali moments.
It’s Happy wala Diwali. Sending love, happiness and light to your loved ones, shedding darkness. Diwali has always been very special to me and see it less for its religiosity but endearing aspect. Love wearing new clothes, lightning colorful diyas and sending love to everyone. I believe Diwali is an opportunity for all of us to introspect a bit, make a small effort to spread kindness, unity, be a bit more tolerant where there is no place for human prejudice, gender bias and racism. Let’s be equal and lovable human beings, bringing love and changing the lives of less fortunate. Treat women with respect and as your equal. It’s the small things that make Diwali more endearing and filled with happiness.
Lighting small, miniature and beautiful diyas;
Spreading light in lives and
wearing brand new traditional clothes.
Endearing and filled will love.
Stroke someone’s heart with soft touches and sparkle lives.
Celebrate festival of light in diversity and tolerance,
make no place for prejudice and racial, caste or gender divide.
Bringing hearts together to symbolize celebration in unity.
I miss my Diwali celebration in India, shopping for Kurtas Pyjamas on the market, haggling with traders and shopping like crazy battling the crowd. Street children dancing on the streets and everyone decked in traditional and colorful attire. Traffic remain standstill but we know it’s special, seeing happy faces with which we bond through happy faces and eyes. A day we all long for to indulge in mithai, trying different ones for we know that being health freak can be forgotten for a day. It’s Diwali. Khao, Peeo aur Kuch Meetha ho jaye.
Playing cards cum truth and dare with friends in the evening after a sumptuous meal reminds me of the fond memories in Pune and Mumbai. We would all deck up in shining Kurta Pyjamas and Sari to visit Adi’s parents, indulging in sweet and savories while aunty would make the best coffee in town. Except, Adi would stay in jeans and shirt. The day was spent buying mithais at the sweet shop, selecting the various delicacies and of course, gorging as if it’s the last day on earth.
How priceless our memories were during college days! I remember visiting my personal doctor in Pune, Dr Alka Bapat, who made me bow to the God and feeding me with lotsa sweet. It’s one festival that I love not for the fun part-mithai, decking up and strengthening the bond of friendship and love. Wandering on the street at night is like cherry on cake with huge crowd swarming like a jamboree and shopping till late. It’s a happy day. Of course, the colorful Rangoli.
Over the years, Diwali has changed with people getting more materialistic that takes away its old world charm but it’s still endearing with its colorful theme, popping mouth watering gulab jamun, whatsapp messages to friends. One memory that I shall never forget when Kok sent the personally made card by this advertising agency, years back.
Things I’d love to do on Diwali someday:
-Hosting a Diwali party with dance competition, playing the best music
-Distributing sweets, books, food and clothes to under privileged children.
-Make a short film on the day.
-Be back in India and visit those awesome and old Mithai shop, unique markets in Delhi, Mumbai and the North.
-Buy the handcraft paper lanterns and it’s any day better than crackers that I hate like anything.
-Indulge in Teen Patti with friends till the wee hours of the day.
Make your Diwali memorable, whether it’s full of extravaganza or keep it simple but do it your way. I’ve been stealing mithai since a while at home and fold the paper, turn into dabba to put mithai. Love buying those small boxes and of course, the earthen lamps. It’s fun.
Happy wala Diwali bole toh ek dum jhakas. Munch my favorites mouth watering Gulab Jamun, Kaju and ladoos. Have fun, peeps and make a difference to the world. How I miss India!!! Hope to be back very soon.
Wishing each & everyone of you a very Happy and Dhinchak Diwali. May all your dreams come true and be bestowed with health, wealth and good wishes. May all your dreams come true as we leave behind the bad, relish wonderful moments and look up to a super awesome season full of love. Diwali is a season where we become one, irrespective of caste, creed, sex or religion and hope to unite as human beings, free of prejudices.
In this age of Shor Sharaba, held under siege by crackers on the road, multiplex culture in the busy streets, there is nothing like Gharwali Diwali. Sober Diwali! See I’m quite a home pigeon these days, gushing to celebrate a sober Diwali. Nah! I haven’t been binge drinking or high on drugs to suffer from withdrawal symptom.
Diwali is always special to me and always look up to D-Day. New clothes, Mithai, lighting Diyas and there is a spark in my eyes as I look excitedly to the celebration, sharing moment of love with near and dear ones. As a child, my eyes would beam excitedly on Diwali and couldn’t wait to sneak on Mithai made by Mom. I remember on the eve of Diwali, Mom would be in the kitchen till late and, as I lay on bed, overhearing the oil as mom would prepare ladoo and Gulab Jamun. I was dying to taste the Mithai but there is no way to sneak in the catch to steal the sweets. Mom is very particular and no one has the right to touch the sweets till Laxmi Puja is performed. I waited with bated breath till the morning, surveying Mom and Dad movement, pretending to go to toilet thousand times, before stealing Mithai that I would slip in my pocket. Done deed!
I would wait for guests in front of the door and when they reach with their dabba full of Mithai, I would gorge on them. Diwali is the day where I strictly don’t have lunch or dinner as countless Mithai shared is spread on the table. A day full of Mithai to sweeten the mouth and stomach. See! I am a very sweet guy, always speaking in loving tone. Must be the effect of Mithai. Meet me at your own peril and I can assure you’ll die of diabetes. My silly stomach crave for Mithai on Diwali Day as I loiter around, wearing my best Kurta-Pyjama. One task I am always given and I am a maven at is to distribute Mithai in small plastic bags to neighbors home as Mom would keep making the sweets. It’s a never ending tough task for Mom, cleaning and washing the house, windows before Diwali and making sweets. Tiring, na! Tsk!!! Uff! Yeh sab ghar ka kaam Diwali ke liye.
When I moved to Pune and Mumbai for my studies, Diwali became an ongoing romance that I cherished over the years and still miss those days. A home away from home. There was never a dull moment on Diwali. I would wait with bated breath for the special pocket money from Dad and Mom to shop for new Kurtas, forking money at the sweet shop to distribute to friends and teachers. Shopping at the crowded Laxmi Road in Pune for the whole day to no avail to get the favorite and special Kurta. Unsuccessful shopping! Trying my luck the next day till I find something better. After all, it’s Diwali. As you walk past the Peth areas, you are held to crackers bursting like being caught on the Indo-Pak border. After all, it’s such a homely feeling in cities like Pune and Mumbai with friends.
How I miss the sweet made by aunty, my best friend Adi’s Mom on Diwali. Aunty makes the best coffee, chai, Maharashtrian food and of course, Mithai. She made my days in Pune super awesome and been Mom to me. The first house I would pay a visit was Adi’s Mom coz I know she would force feed me with Barfi, my favorite Gulab Jamun and, of course, her superb chai. No! I wasn’t complaining. Or, visiting my doc in Pune, Dr Alka, who would make me sit in the Puja and make me eat loads of Mithai. Super awesome Diwali in Pune, I tell you!
During the next, our gang would meet and we were a gen who wouldn’t mind our King Fisher beer as an ode to Vijay Mallya on Diwali. One thing led to the other, shuffling cards, we were ‘juari.’ Yeh Diwali hai ek Jua!!! Rolling the empty bottle of beer to play Truth or Dare. Beware! The deep secrets were out! Who is your latest crush in college? Do you like XYZ? The secret was out on Diwali. Truly special! On Diwali, Adi would corner me on the latest girl friend potential or making me imitate Hindi film ka dialogues..no wonder the actor in me came out on Diwali. Kya kya nahin Karta Diwali hum logon ko..exposing us, of course, and poor me was always the victim.
How I miss those priceless memories. Shopping for hours at Colaba, CST and the awesome street shopping at Crawford Market. The joy of haggling for a Kurta on the street at Crawford cannot be quantified and makes memories to be cherished for a life time. Truly a Gharwali Diwali at home and away from home. It made my Gharwali Diwali full of joyful memories.
This post is written as a part of Indi Happy Hours’#GharWaliDiwali in association with PepsiCo and IndiBlogger.