My folks did not celebrate Diwali as a family.
Yet Diwali festival remains close to my heart.
I grew up in a small coastal town and all festivals were taken seriously.
They had traditions and customs guarded and followed year after year, generation after generation.
My Diwali memories start from when I was 10 years or so.
Sis and I started with a bath, wore our new dresses. Sometimes, the dress which was worn earlier and then saved( not worn in between) for Diwali so that it looked like out-of-the-box -new.
After which we had to go to my dad’s friends’ house for brunch. We did our Diwali brunch for so many years that I have almost lost count. I went there till I finished my college.
We were served the same menu for all the years.
Vada, thatta, chips , idly and mutton kolambu. It was so yum that I can still drool over just the food memories.
I am not sure if it was the taste or the vaalai elai or the hospitality or all of it together which made the warm memories.
I will never know.
After which there were those bijili vedis and olai vedi (you don’t get them anymore) which I burst for the rest of the day.
I very well remember, one Diwali I stood close to a Laxmi vedi which left me almost deaf.
I gave up and left home to tell my parents that I am not bursting the rest of it
And my dad came up with a world -class idea.
He took a long stick and tied the incense stick to it. That way I stayed 5 feet away from the crackers.
And the sweets distribution, I craved and a huge smile on my face when any one knocked our home to give us the sweet plate.
Years back when sweets box was not in the picture, we had to receive the plate, dump the contents in the bowl of our house and then put something on the plate and return it back to them.
I was taught not to return an empty plate when someone offers you something.
Today after all these years, I sit on my computer table wondering what my children would pass on as their Diwali memories.
I keep telling myself that I will give them the best of the memories to cherish.