Nov 13, 2012

What makes Diwali special?

What makes Diwali special?

Is it the early morning oil-bath ritual where one is dragged bleary-eyed, made to sit cross-legged while warm oil is slapped on the last remnants of hair on one's scalp, while mom sings "Gauri kalyaana..." subtly substituting the first word with one's name, thereby ensuring one sits up wide awake saying "What?" (Btw, come to think of it, who are this Gauri and Sita who get married every year and at every auspicious TamBrahm occasion?)

Is it the indulgence in sweets, of every kind, but particularly the ones dripping ghee, which one ingests with abandon, ignoring the warnings of many a petite dietitian which are still ringing in one's ears, while complaining to mom that she's responsible for the latest layer of 'tyre' around the waist?

Is it the crackers which pollute the air and make one wheeze, cough and splutter hopelessly, all the while reminiscing about the nostalgic past when one was rather possessive of crackers, while at the same time cursing the kids bursting them today, and then realizing that mom has contributed to some of that by actually donating some crackers to the maid's kids and trying to take back some of the more imaginative curses (like may a rocket shoot up your... erm, how do we say this, outlet of the digestive system)?

Is it the excitement of the new dresses, which in spite of the fact that one purchases all through the year whenever one feels like it, rather than on the twice designated occasions (the other being the birthday) as one used to in the past, makes one feel that the Diwali dress is always more special since it is, well, formally handed to one by the parents!

Is it the sumptuous lunch, post which no sane person would try to remain awake, the one which makes one get up groaning with delight from the table, tap at one's tyre (which seems to have expanded) and point remorsefully at mom, who promptly asks "would you like another serving?"

Is it the messages and calls from relatives and friends, especially from some of those one had given up on, and more so from some of those one always thought had given up on oneself, even if they be the cookie cutter mass messages?

What makes Diwali special? I don't know.

What doesn't make it special is that it makes a usually pragmatic, clear-headed, rational person turn into an emotional fool once a year. Damn!