Ting. I glanced to see another email pop up at the corner of my screen. “Re Happy Deepavali” read the subject. I smiled as I leaned back knowing full well I could expect many more to stream in through the day. This morning as I picked people from my personal contacts list to send a wish, I enjoyed the process. Reading each name and wondering about the last time I spoke to them or connected with them. There were some that I had spoken to over the weekend and some whose names brought a smile to my face. People whom I had forgotten existed.
As the replies came each wishing me back or some with a return wish and a “How have you been?” tacked to the end, I filed them in order mentally making a note to respond. Deepavali unlike other festivals for me is all about socializing. I take that back. Its about new clothes, good food and socializing. Growing up, the cherished part of deepavali was the clothes shopping. Each year mom and I would make our ritual Pondy Bazaar outing. Stopping at Flora and Poonam and Sonali. Glancing at all the wares disinterestedly waiting for the eventual stop at Naidu Hall. One year it was the bright yellow ‘frock’ type top with a motley print bottom. One year it was the denim blue top with a white bottom. Yet another year was the punjabi style flared pajama with a tight fitting salwar. Some years I picked two and even three salwars. Thank god for readymades I would think for they fit me perfectly. Heading home, I would try them on, one by one and parade in front of the mirror or the scant audience comprising an adoring amma and a disinterested appa. The worth of the clothes marked by how much Amma paid for them. As the years passed, there was a time when I was influenced by peers to try the roadside shops by alsa mall or the tailored sets that cost much lesser. That phase did not last long though.
Fast forward a decade, not much has changed. I eagerly look forward to my ganga snanam, new salwars still lying in their original bag from India and my first attempt at making sweets and savories this evening. I look forward to calling my friends over the phone and smile filled faces wishing “Happy Deepavali” all day tomorrow.
Iniya Deepavali Nal Vazhthukkal aka Happy Deepavali!!