Diwali is that time of the year when India celebrates itself. It's that time of the year when Indians across the world, irrespective of gender and caste, come together to enjoy the grandest of occasions. More than all this, its that time of the year when everyone gets to discover the erstwhile child within them, the child that is so dormant for the rest of the year.
The colour and grandeur of Diwali creates a sense of unique identity for all of us. From my experience across the world, I have noticed that this sense of identity and the atmosphere that is brought during Diwali is unmatched anywhere around the world. If you ask a majority of Indians abroad what they miss the most, the name of Diwali would definitely pop up somewhere in the top few reasons. The grandeur gives you the sense of uniqueness that barely anything else can give. Though the underlying theme of victory of good over evil is the crux of the celebration, in modern day India it is more of a celebration of life, celebration of being part of the Indian fabric. One of the biggest feats that Diwali in practical terms achieves is the unwinding of the individual from the hustle and bustle of the world.
It unwinds you to the point that we rediscover the child within us during this entire process. When a 80 year old grandfather wakes up in the morning, gets his customary Diwali bath, uses his crutches and walks down to the road to lit a cracker; this moment is something that is worth capturing for ages. Irrespective of age, the sheer delight of lighting crackers and playing around with the children gives us that impetus to rediscover the child within anyone. Some people do it for themselves, some people do it for the sake of their children, and some others do it for their friends; at the end of the day everyone does this unwinding at some point of time during the day, thus unleashing the child within them at some point of time. In our busy modern day working worlds, we tend to either suppress or even camouflage the child within us since it becomes "un professional" or even "amateurish". The child within us is often ignored or it is even forgotten. Diwali helps us to relive that experience and in some cases helps us to relive the childhood that we had grown under, nostalgia envelops us.
Diwali triggers a sense of nostalgia down the memory lane that transcends generations. While my grandparents would talk about Diwali's under the British rule, my parents would talk about Diwali without television; I would talk about a Diwali without an iPhone. In most of the cases we tend to agree that during this nostalgia trip, somewhere the sweetness of the past is missed somewhere in the present. In the present era of non stop television barrage during the Diwali day, the quietness of the past always triggered wonderful memories that had to be cherished for life. The nostalgia of Diwali drives us all the way back into our childhood, allows us to enjoy our childhood days and how we used to celebrate it at that point of time.
I agree that inevitably the overload of television has creeped in to dominate our Diwali's allowing us to get consumed by it too much. I agree that the overdose of it tends to dilute the natural Diwali that one craves for. I agree that the historical significance might not be as relevant. I also agree that for some it's just another holiday. Despite all this, for the majority of us there is nothing that can beat a Diwali in terms of the sheer grandeur, sheer spontaneity and the celebration of the child within that it brings about in some form or the other.
Diwali, Deepavali or whatever you may call it, sure does one thing; it unleashes the child within all of us.
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