Pages

November 01, 2005

Deepavali...

"Om Shuklam Bharatharam Vishnum Shashivarnam Chaturbhujam..."

The strains of Vishnu Sahasranamam begin the day for us. Deepavali begins at 4 am with my thatha waking up early morning, followed by mom and dad and the happy and busy bustle of the festival begins while my brother and I try to catch a few more precious winks before being woken up by my parents. After having gulped down our bed coffees without my thatha's knowledge, we sluggishly sleep walk outside in new clothes...

I wish I could wear a pattu pavadai today, I wish my mom would make me up early morning today, I wish I could hear the sounds of pattasu (crackers) outside so loud that I cannot hear what Vijay is saying on Sun TV...

The sight of crackers and sparklers wake us up and we rush outside, appa shouting behind us to wear slippers...L pounces on the sarams - the 100 walas, Lakshmi vedi and such while my mom and I am quite content with Kambi Mathapu (sparklers) and the milder variety, in general. The men of the family compete with one another in bursting crackers...is it really 5 in the morning?

I snooze the alarm for the third time as it frowns angrily and announces that the time is 7.50 AM. My dad's phone call reminds me that today is Deepavali. Our "Thalai Deepavali", and yet the day looks no different. I play Vishnu Sahasranamam in the hope that I can recreate a bit of the feeling that comes with being home on Deepavali. Other than that, the day is the same, the microwave beeps every now and then to remind us of our coffee getting cold...coffee...the mild aroma reminds me of our filter coffees at home...

And after the pattasu session begins a day of "Sun TV yil mudal muraiga..." (first time on Sun TV) trail of programmes. A sumptuous breakfast in front of the TV and the phone calls begin. Kausalya perimma, Arundathi, Amma's kovil friends, my friends...the list is endless and yet each phone call is yet another affirmation that love and celebration is in the air...

We drive to work and I can't stop thinking of home. My gmail shows me a bunch of ecards from friends and relatives and I see each one of them and reply to them. The day progresses slowly, the only signs of celebration are the few balloons left over from Halloween and I look at them and wonder when I can experience the luxury of being woken up early in the morning to celebrate with my family on Deepavali...

It's not just my family that I miss, it's the whole package - the spirit of cheer, happiness and giving- my mom gives a new saree, gifts and boxes of new sweets to Malliga, the ladies selling flowers outside the temple; everyone is smiling and colorful; the roads bear remnants of crackers burst enthusiastically by youngsters as if it is joining in the celebrations; ghee melts in my mouths as yet another sweet is thrust into my mouth by my mom; my dad fusses over me to dry my hair because he thinks I will catch a cold; I fight with my brother over what TV channel to watch...and the sounds and sights fill me with a sense of peace that I am yet to find here, today...

22 comments:

kamal said...

Just to give my experience, Its never been about the day or the morning, its always about the night on diwali, bursting crackers till 1 – 2 in the morning, nothing more spectacular than 100’s of rockets lighting up a sea shore.

I’ve decided to shift my mental diwali to the July 4th weekend, nothing more spectacular than the fireworks show :)

Prabu Karthik said...

Ah! this is one exceptional post in my opinion :)

Pesma nee oru padam direct pannu.

i cud relate to this since i miss all my cbe friends having a whale of a time there while i am killing time reading blogs.

Happy Diwali RS!

GG said...

RS: try re-creating the magic here....I know it won't be the same - but atleast it won't be absent :)

Have fun....and have a Happy Diwali!!!

IBH said...

Hey RS,

Happy "Thala Deepavali" to u and K!

hellboy said...

i chose a bad day to visit your blog. before reading this post i was convinced that I dont give damn about Diwali or any other festival anymore...

after reading this you made me feel that I actually miss a lot... A LOT...

thennavan said...

Happy "Thalai" Deepavali RS :-)

RS said...

kamal - and also Nov 5th firecrackers at the temple :)

P~K - Happy Diwali to you too! Sigh, Naan padam direct panra alavuku talenteda irundana, naan yen inga kuppa kotindruken :) ?

gg - am trying to :) Happy Diwali to you too!

IBH, Thennavan - Thanks and happy diwali to you too!

Hellboy - That's good and bad I guess :) Happy Diwali to you!

Adaengappa !! said...

Hey,Cheerup !!

HAPPY " THALAI " DEEPAVALI !!

TJ said...

Thalaideepavali vaazhthukkal!

I somehow have the feeling that, go back to india i 15yrs from now, and you will have the diwali there, like what is here :(.

And have the halloweens and thanksgivings like here as well. Big time aping is happening, in the name of hep culture.

Muthukumar Puranam said...

well written. though there is no reason why we cannot get up early and havd ennai kuliyal, doing some pooja, good samaiyal etc, we let lazyness take the front seat. Anyways intha post romba pidichirunthathu.

RS said...

Adengappa - Thanks a happy diwali to you too :)

TJ: Hmm, neither here nor there, I wonder where we fit :)

PB: Nandri, I did get up early, vilakethi, pooja ellam pannen but this is just not home, is it? :)

Eshwar said...

Wish you both a very happy thalai deepavali.

Kavya said...

RS..felt very Nostalgic after reading u r post :(..The same things happen in my house too Fights for Tv Channel, Dad asking me to dry my hair, vishnu sahasarnamam. I have been missing this for the last 3 years..

By the Way How did u r thala deepavali go..My wishes to u and u r husband

RT said...

RS,
happy thalai deepavali..ur post makes me feel better :-), i was thinking that the enthu has gone down...but diwali in chennai is anyday better than the one in US...but i guess u did what best u cd do there :-)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Hey....I can understand how it feels to celebrate diwali in a different atmosphere, esp without your parents and siblings around..I guess the fun lies in enjoying it even when things change! :)..hope u had a good time!

dinesh said...

Ramya,

Very good post...Happy Diwali...thittaadhe, I was asleep when you called last night ! :)

RS said...

eshwar: Thanks a lot and a Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year to you.

Kavya: Inspite of my cribs, Diwali was quite pleasant here, happy diwali to you!

RT: am sure! But am happy that I atleast got to watch a bit of Sun TV on diwali :)

anupama: Thanks! I did have a good time with friends, guess the rant was a bit unjustified after all :)

Dinesh: Happy Diwali! Thittala because I guessed you were sleeping! Thapicha nee :)

RTD2 said...

Hey...my ideas but your words..I think my Diwalis were similar as well. Miss home dearly suddenly!

RS said...

rtd2 - sighhhhhh

Saranya Kishore said...

Very nice!
And hope married life is treating you good. :--)

RS said...

Saranya - so far so good :)

Anonymous said...

jus now went thru ur 'Deepavali' post, u have written jus on the 'Diwali' day!!. I c'ld recollect only one saying; chatthiratthila thoongindu irundhavana ezhuppi, unakku saapaadu kidaiyaadhunnu sonna maadiri:), already indians abroad, miss this festive occasion a lot, poraa koraikku nee vera 'crib' adicchu ezhudirukkayae, idhu nyaamamaa? Anyway, onnoda post padicchavaa ellaarukkum atleast manasula irundha oru 'baaram' koranja maadiri irukkum (what juntha w'ld h've felt, u have broughtforth):). Btw, Diwali festival has so much nu onnoada post padicchha apramdaan theriyardhu:). Well written. J.

© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.