Winter is on its way. Or so it seems. Mornings are now foggier – or smoggier – and it gets dark before Dad gets to come from work. But more than these weather-symptoms, I get vibes of winter from more human sources. Quite interesting, if you know what I mean.
People are vacationing on Diwali. Going out of town to the beach and the hills with their house left behind in the dark. With no lamps or lights or glitter on the walls. Sometimes, with a housemate or so – often elderly- left behind with the other darkness. And I used to think Diwali is about decorating your house together and gobbling down sweets with silver paper on them.
Televisions, mobile phones and cars are being bought. The newest varieties, the most happening brands. On the sly, houses are also being sold. The ones your parents had put together with a penny collected a day. All for a fancy flat in an uptown area, possibly with no accommodation for the former house owners.
Youngsters hang around in beer bars, discotheques and shopping malls. Lost to the world outside the glass bubble. They return home all “high” and mighty, lighter on all accounts – including the cash. The concerned parties are hushed up and asked to get inside quilts before the cold wave could come in through the window. But it already did.
Whatever happened to “happy family” moments that we grew up relishing? When they are missing, all I see is jazz. And for jazz, I never did acquire an ear. Festivals for me are still about family. Together, we light lamps, set up streamers, make a rangoli. We devour milk cakes and rasmalai, gaze at the firecrackers in the sky and I never gather the courage to light some of my own. We pray to Ganpati Bappa and wish for health, happiness and laughter.
Delhi is getting cold. This Diwali, I hope the lights warm up some of the hearts which have forgotten how special it is to love and be loved by their family.