As Diwali approaches this year on a Sunday, I cannot help but wonder how jaded it is going to be. We work the whole year around wishing for the festivals to fall on the weekdays just to escape the routine once in a while. Diwali in adulthood looks like added work pressure above the usual corporate grind that working professionals manage through the year.
Diwali wasn't just a one-day affair like it has become today but a whole week of festivities. And this is why adulting and Diwali don't go hand in hand.
As a grown-up Diwali doesn't evoke the same excitement and elation that it used to as a child. When young, it was about lights, roaming around busy but decked local markets from a week before to stock up on the essentials. It was also about buying new clothes and then going back to the hometown and wearing them to burst crackers with your entire family. Diwali wasn't just a one-day affair like it has become today but a whole week of festivities. And this is why adulting and Diwali don't go hand in hand.
I remember while growing up, I would eagerly wait for Diwali and since I come from Uttar Pradesh which falls in the northern part of the country, the fervour around this festival has always been limitless. So the arrangements would begin right from Dussehra and us children would start bursting small crackers like roll cap guns and snake pills etc., in the verandah of our houses and no one would come and give us a lecture on climate change and environment. Although, I do believe, that we need to be more careful today than ever before and not bursting firecrackers is one way to reduce the emission of harmful gases into the air. But those days still bring a fuzzy feeling with it when I think about it.
This year, I was thankful that Dusshera fell on my birthday so I could get a day off from work. It was a happy coincidence that I deeply cherished. But obviously my happiness didn't last long and it is being balanced out with due credit.
Growing up Diwali felt more like a festival that it has always been. It was about lights, roaming around busy but decked local markets from a week before to stock up on the essentials.
No, really, it isn't just about I being a pessimist self on the occasion of festivities, Diwali just doesn't seem to be what it was a few years ago. Our overt consumeristic attitude and fast-paced lives have completely changed its meaning but can we do anything about it anymore? Diwali was more about getting together and whipping gujiyas and making memories year after year. The store-bought sweets don't come even the slightest bit close to the homemade delicacies. There is a different aroma and taste to it altogether. And this is why Diwali is no more a festival of delight but rather of nostalgia.
Diwali is more like a cleaning drive now, which is quite possibly the only thing about it that I don't mind. However, time constraint doesn't allow much to be done but we try...
I would give away anything to relive old Diwali memories again but until then, let me prepare myself to deal with the fact that the only day-off I get will now be filled with festival madness.
Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash
The views expressed are the author's own.