Diwali is round the corner; that is when I thought of writing this post to re-live good old memories in the seventies and early eighties in a now bustling metro city named Mumbai, or for that matter, Bombay to the so called old timers like me.
For us children, days were divided into 3 parts. One was definitely school time, another was playtime and the third was holiday time that came in the form of winter and summer holidays and to some like me who lived in Bombay, the Diwali holidays.
The lanterns hung up by most households with a variety of shapes and colors was fun to watch and compare. In every household, family members and neighbors would chip in to prepare sweets for Diwali and that would include Laddu , Shankarpali, Chivda, Bombay mix, the Chaklis(muruks for tamil/malayalees) and the good old Karanji. Purchasing the raw materials was a daunting task in itself to prepare all such sweets at home. The preparation used to take a few days after which we used to exchange samples of these with our neighbors who used to give us what they had prepared.
The earthen lamps that used to grace all homes during this festive occasion was another pretty sight to all in the late evenings.
The colorful rangoli patterns on the floor outside every door was a marvel. The whole town was painted with new colors outside each door step bringing out the artist in each household.
This also used to give a divine aura to the surroundings and everyone from the children to the elders with pretty new clothes bedecked with jewelry was always a pretty sight to watch. The illumination was also seen on each face, the innocent joy on children’s as they lighted up crackers and looked at each other. Each group of houses was, a city into itself, plunged in celebrations. The crackers and other fireworks used to light our lives in the night and create a headache for the elderly. With the earthen diyas, the illuminated rangoli designs, the lanterns, and the shooting crackers, Diwali definitely lives up to its name of Festival of Lights. Though the main festival lasted 5 days, for us, it was as long as our sweets, crackers and the vacations lasted.
Here is wishing you, all my readers, who are getting ready for the festival of lights, a prosperous, happy and safe Diwali..