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Diwali is around the corner and this time I am not celebrating it with my parents or with my husband alone – this time we are celebrating it with our 1-year-old daughter so it’s altogether different for us!
When I was a school-going child (that must be around 20 years back), Diwali meant fun, fun and more fun! School holidays were all about making a beautiful sky lantern in advance, matching its colours to the walls, taking extra efforts to make it the most beautiful lantern amongst all… all labour of love!
Cleaning the house, getting rid of old, unwanted things, decorating the rooms, arranging oil lamps and drawing rangolis took up so much of our time that we were never bored. It taught us the importance of self-work.
This was accompanied by delicious smells from the kitchen, of all the Mom-made delicacies and unlimited special sweets! Calories were never counted back in those days and still, everyone was miraculously fit always!
Then came the actual days of Diwali which started with early morning warm scented baths, new clothes, crackers in the cold winds, silly competitions like who got up first or whose crackers were the best and so on. Everyone used to be happy and nobody, not even children, wanted anything more from life… it was simply perfect!
Over the years this picture is changing; school holidays are no longer ‘holidays’, as they comprise studies, projects or some tutions for kids. In our busy lives, we no longer have the time to make Diwali treats at home; everything is readymade or store-bought and has lost the charm of ‘handmade’. Competition, jealousy, and greed are never-ending and we are also becoming a part of it all, with our children. Many times people fake their happiness and celebrations; new clothes are worn just to click pictures so they can be shared on Facebook or uploaded somewhere. Tabs, mobile phones are causing communication gaps amongst family members. Being together has lost its meaning.
So this Diwali, as a new parent, I am going to relive the age-old days with my daughter. It’s important that we pass on the values we learnt to our kids so that they learn the importance of self-working, satisfaction, simplicity, happiness and togetherness.
Let’s keep this Diwali gadget-free and see how the family connects. Start with some home cleaning session involving all family members; make lanterns, lamps, decorate the rooms together. Eat delicious snacks, have sweets without feeling guilty. Spend time with children; laugh with them about silly things, get them some crackers to burst! Enjoy freely! Smile at each other instead of smiling at the camera, appreciate people in person instead of ‘liking’ their posts online.. and you’ll see the difference!
We can happily pass on the precious and real Diwali celebrations to our next generations this way!
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