by Anantinee Mishra
everyone is too bummed and tired to go out and do anything.
After all, when have you ever heard of the normally congested, and to this day even more so, roads of India silent as if mourning the loss of someone?
We have all had different reasons to look forward to this day. For schoolchildren like me, it would be mean the start of a much-needed long weekend, and we all looked forward to having a few days where we weren’t shaken awake. For the white-collared ones, it would mean a Diwali bonus, and cross my heart and hope to die if that bonus wasn’t as anticipated as an afternoon nap. While for some, it would mean coming together with their immediate or extended families, brimming with joy and enthusiasm.
But this year, it all seems mashed up. No more of that extended weekend excuse; this whole year seems like one big, big weekend. And as for the get-togethers, that is literally forbidden by law other than a case of an immediate emergency.
But even I have to acknowledge that the excitement of the Diwali bonus is still the same.
Another missing thing, this Diwali: the endless charade of the sonpapdi boxes. These things literally used to be like those forwarded ‘Happy Diwali’ wishes; from here to there, there to here. Half the time, that red-golden rectangular box used to reach its original owner after completing a full cycle in the neighbourhood!
And you cannot forget that Rangoli competitions, can you? The fierce competition on whose Rangoli is better used to be nail-biting, and the equivalent of FIFA world cup in our social circles.
This year, the atmosphere is somewhat bleak as compared to the usual ‘Diwali atmospheres’ we are used to. But, the message of this festival remains the same.
This auspicious day marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. This day is the purest of them all; when we all get a chance to fight and conquer, the existent devil both inside and outside us.
It’s a day of homecoming; after fourteen years of exile, Lord Rama had returned back to Ayodhya in tow with Sita and Laxman.
This year, we may not with our aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and acquaintances; but we are hand in hand with the resolution of becoming a better person than we are today. We may not be able to hand around sweet boxes, but we are going to pray that positivity and prosperity fall over all the souls on this Earth.
This year, Diwali may not be as grand and pompous as it was, but its meaningfulness hasn’t decreased by a notch: it’s still loud and clear, embedded in our hearts, immersed in our intellects, and ensnared in our souls.
About the Author:
Anantinee ‘JHUMPA’ Mishra is a prodigy author, poet and TED speaker. She is twelve years old studying in std.8th at Apeejay School, Saket, New Delhi. She has published two books and many stories and articles in magazines and journals. At the age of ten, she published a 21,000 worded anthology of stories called ‘Treasure of Short Stories’. Last year her debut Novel ‘Manhattan to Munnar’ got released. Recently she has been conferred with a title ‘PRODIGY AUTHOR’ and an ‘HONORARY DIPLOMA’ by the Hon’ble Vice President of India Sh. M Venkaiah Naidu.