Festival Away From Home - By Sarabjit Kaur
October appears synonymous to celebration. The month has just started, and people are already in a festive mood. Houses are being decorated with colourful lights, beautiful candles, and decorative items. Festive season is here with celebrations like Thanksgiving, Diwali, Dussehra, and Durga Puja. The idea of meeting the loved ones on these special occasions is what keeps the excitement alive. The upcoming festival, Diwali, is the most awaited festival for Indians all around the world.
Waking up to the spirit of cleaning house and workplace to decorate them with fancy lights, flowers, and rangolis is what Diwali means to Indians. Exchanging gifts, variety of sweets and delicious food are an integral part of the celebrations. Diwali calls for maddening crowd, illuminated streets, and scent of incense.
Celebrated by people belonging to all religions, it holds different significance in every religion. In Hinduism, it marks the return of Lord Rama from Ayodhaya. In Sikhism, it is a historic event where Guru Hargobind Singh Ji freed 52 Hindu kings from the prison of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. In Jainism, it marks the liberation of Mahavir’s soul. Even though, the significance of a day is different, the way of celebrating is the same. Diwali is considered as the celebration of new beginnings. But, how does it feel to commence new beginnings without your near and dear ones?
As the festival is at the doorstep, it is the time to call the family, relatives, and friends. Booking the tickets to go back home and meet everyone may not be a reality for everyone. The idea of being alone at this special occasion turns the excitement into tears for missing out a lot. The happiness of physically seeing the loved ones is replaced by virtual meetings, social media posts, and long well-wishing messages. The absence of home-made delicacies soaked in desi ghee (clarified butter) brings the realization of what a person has left behind. Be it, Diwali Puja, lighting candles, or choosing gifts for family and friends, the concept of being with family members is something that no other materialistic thing can replace.
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Office parties, hanging out with friends, and online world (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram) somehow tries to fill the void, but what about burning crackers, worshipping at the temple and lighting diyas with family? Nothing can substitute the merrier times with family. Attending a slew of events around the city, registering for the rangoli, music, and dance competition can be some of the ways to struggle the isolation. The festival of lights, celebrated as the triumph of good over evil, brings together people belonging to different religions. Discovering diversity, making new connections at a new place is the perfect way to celebrate this festival of joy. Whatever be the place, celebrate the festival with a smile because festivals are meant to cheer up the people.
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