“In each house, each threshold, in rows on each path
In alcoves, on the terrace, on the walls, in the tiny basil plant
The humble earthen lamps have vandalised the dark
With a beautiful golden glow they flicker, sparkle sparkle spark!”
Streets lit up with fairy lights , homes glowing in golden flickers of earthen lamps, colourful rangolis adorning each doorstep; crackers and sparklers, flowerpots and ground spinners making light dance at our fingertips… It’s that time of the year again, when every Indian celebrates the victorious return of Lord Ram , the Prince of Ayodhya to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana.
It’s that time of the year again when there’s a slight nip in the air, when seasons shift their guard from Autumn to Winter; the time when thousands of earthen lamps burning with mustard oil annihilate germs, cleanse air and bestow festivities on us.
Yes, it’s a season to rejoice , to sit together, to relive memories, pass the anecdotes to the younger generation and create new memories. For people who are far away it’s time for homecoming; and if situations don’t allow it, then it’s time to stay upbeat keeping the spirit of the festival alive.
Festivals, afterall are occasions to bring people closer, give a reason to be together, to take a pause from routine and reflect, to look around and connect with ourselves and people around us.
It’s a time to introspect and to teach our children these nuances , the meaning and wisdom behind our ancient traditions and symbolic rituals to share and care, to be grateful for life, for the world, for nature, for each other.
To do so we are providing some pointers to chuck away the gadgets and bond with family during the modern Diwali.
- Involve everyone –
Make sure a task is assigned to each and every family member, be it old or young. This helps them to be productive and make them ‘ a part’ of the occasion making them responsible towards the assigned task, which can be as simple as counting the gifts or making a list of spots where lights should be fixed or to decide the menu for the week!
- Appreciate Appreciate Appreciate –
Appreciation is the key to boost confidence and strengthen the bond among family members. Like, instead of pointing out that rangoli could have been better, find a reason to appreciate it, perhaps the colour coordination, the symmetry or if nothing else, then just the time and effort.
- Be genuine –
Remember to shower genuine praise, to be really grateful, to be humble and empathetic instead of correcting and sounding like a spoilsport nitpicker.
- Don’t be predictable –
Follow traditions, add some of your own so, visit a place of worship, experience traditional culture, attire, food, pujan , and then find an activity of common interest like, a day long getaway trip for a family of travel-buffs or a tryst with favourite books for a bibliophilic family, a thriller movie together, anything different. Anything which your family enjoys.
- Shop together –
Just like cleaning, don’t do the Diwali shopping alone as a task, but make it an occasion with children and parents and spouse and siblings all having their say in it. Plan ahead regarding the list of essentials and eat out after shopping to make that day a work-picnic with fam!
- Share –
Not just gifts , but time. Talk and listen. Understand and express, differ and empathize… Use these moments wisely. Be considerate, forgiving and compassionate. Remember to Smile a lot. Consciously. And you’d notice the wonders it can do.
- Build festive moments in kitchen –
Prepare traditional meals and delicacies, perhaps in tiny portions, but cook, fry, bake and simmer in your kitchen to let everyone feel the fragrance, the aroma, the flavours, the taste creating wonderful Proustian memories!
- Be immersive –
When you have a home away from home then Diwali with its almost a week long break, provides a wonderful opportunity to immerse in different cultures and let your children explore different versions of the festival of lights.
With all the above tips and a little conscious effort you can bond with friends and family, enjoy and gather wisdom, positivity and strength from our culture. So this Diwali, let’s be creative with the traditions and get quality time with our near dear ones.