This was Snigdha and mine first Diwali together. For me it goes in numbers; like how many years since I last celebrated any function back at home in India with parents be it: Diwali, Holi, Rakhi etc. But this was her first Diwali away from home. And she was all so excited right from the day before Diwali. She made snacks and prepared filings for gujhiya, cleaned and vacuumed the entire house and decorated the house with lights.
One of the best moments this Diwali
That same evening we went to our friends place to celebrate Diwali with them (they were celebrating a day before the actual date). We did pooja, ate delicious food prepared by our friends and then a real nice thing happened. Something, that would go into my happy memories forever.
Normally, I am not great with kids and they always run away from me, but that day, my friends beautiful five-year old daughter: Sharini, hugged me and spent almost the entire evening with me. Even when her dad tried to take her from me, she refused to go to him. It was surreal. She did not speak a word and just kept looking at me when I held her in my arms. It was blissful and just brought pure happiness to my heart. I always feel sad on the day of these events, so much so that wishing “Happy Diwali” to family and friends just feels like a formality. It’s like heart is still back home and I am only carrying my body here. But that particular moment of happiness stayed with me throughout that evening. And I am sure will be locked in my brain as one of the happy memories.
Our house this Diwali
We woke up the next day and started our day just as if it was just any other regular weekday. We both could sense a pinch of sadness inside of each other that morning for the reasons very obvious to both of us but we decided to not to talk about it for it had the potential of ruining this day for us. And with this thought we went our ways to work.
It was a regular day at work and the same coffee, same meetings, same documents. It was like “Hey, it’s no big deal if its Diwali, you still got to finish that document, still got to attend that meeting.” Hence, whatever little charm was left inside of me to celebrate this day, faded away with sunset.
On my way home from work, I was talking to a good friend and she told me that she was mad at her husband. On asking why, she basically described the same feeling that I was carrying with me the whole day, and how her husband carried the same. And then she said something that gave me the much-needed kick in my guts. She said: “Why can’t he be happy for the fact that at-least we have each other here to celebrate Diwali together and not crib about not being with family back home on this day.”
And that was the Aha! moment. I kicked myself for feeling dejected the entire day and thought about Snigdha and how I could make this a good one for her. So I bought her a Diwali gift. I reached home, gift wrapped the present. It was a good feeling buying something for her and surprising her.
When she came home, and opened the present, to see her smile and the joy on her face, was just another feather to my happiness cap. And finally, this Diwali was turning out to mean something to both of us as our first Diwali together.
She spent a couple of hours to make ghujiya from the filings she had prepared a day before. And they turned out really, really good. Later, we dressed up and I prepared a make-shift altar and lit diyas and candles.
Ghujiyas this Diwali
And in all of these moments I realized that “what we have with us in every moment is more than enough reason to be happy for, than what we wish to be happy about.”