Diwali – a festival of lights and memories. Every person has some or the other memorable incident associated with a particular festival which makes us go down memory lane and drown in nostalgia every year.
Since Diwali is just around the corner, we went around asking a few celebrities about their favorite Diwali memory. Trust us on this, a few will make you go “Aww!”
My favorite Diwali memory is from when we lived in bank staff quarters when i was a child. All the moms would be making Diwali sweets and we children would flock like a herd to whichever house it was that was sweet making, eat whatever was being made hot as it came off the stove, have cut throat Rangoli making competitions and get together to make the huge Diwali star that would go up in the center of the compound. I would burst all the crackers that my dad got for me in one evening, then trying to swot a stray cracker off friends to light. Those were the days, festivals were simpler and more joyous. I miss them.
My favorite Diwali memory dates back to 2010 when I had just gotten married and had moved into my new home. Setting up it up lights and diyas was the most joyful thing ever. Having my parents come to my house was such a proud feeling and that of sheer bliss.
I usually spend my Diwali with my nani who lives in Bokaro. During Diwali, we make rangolis and eat traditional Gujarati food made fresh vegetables and burst a few crackers. It’s all about spending quality time with family.
My favorite Diwali memory is of when I was a mere struggler, trying to figure out my life in Mumbai. It was the eve of Diwali, and I really wanted to go home and meet my parents who lived in a different city. However, I only had 300 Rs in my wallet and knew that I couldn’t. That night, suddenly, our neighbors invited us over a game of cards. I hesitated but then agreed. By the next morning, I had won 10,000 Rs. I bought gifts, sweets and a ticket to go meet my parents. Miracles happen in times when you least expect it.
Being an asthma patient, I could never really burn crackers and the smoke would make me feel uneasy. However, I first enjoyed Diwali when I was in my 6th grade. Mom had put me on Homeopathy and that had worked like magic. I loved those fake revolvers with those rolls. My brother and I would shoot each other with them, and those are the memories that stay.
For me, this Diwali is going to be special as it’s going to be my baby’s first. So I really want to light up the house with bright lights and she loves those. And on her behalf, I’d eat some extra sweets!
There was a time I used to save my pocket money for crackers. There was this inexpiable desire and excitement about Diwali. The smell of the crackers, seeing everyone happy, that festive mood was a different happiness altogether. I don’t see people enjoying Diwali the way we used to celebrate. That charm, that innocence has died somehow. Now it’s more about going out for dinner and watching TV on Diwali. Things are becoming fancy. I am lucky to say that my childhood memories were amazing, and I’ll always miss celebrating Diwali the same old way.
Being born and brought up in Nainital, Diwali has played an integral role in shaping my values and my life. Since Nainital is a valley shaped hill station, on Diwali we’d see spectacular views of lights, crackers and festivities of every house.
My favorite Diwali memory came as a big lesson. As a child, my brother and I used to collect the explosive powder from crackers and make small canons and mini bombs and would fool around. One day while I had collected a lot of flash powder in a small container and was trying to burn it with a matchstick, it almost burnt my face. Apart from the scolding from my dad, I had to go to school with no eyelashes and eyebrows, and I looked hilarious. A message from me would be to not be as stupid as I was and to be safe!
Diwali has always been about going to my nani’s house for me. Mom would take me and my elder sister to nani’s house. She’d keep special Diwali outfits for my Mama’s daughters and us. The dresses were always colour – coordinated and we would look like four Diwali band-wagon girls. Gujia and other mouth watering sweets would wait on those pretty Thalis and I’d wait eagerly for the puja to end so that I could munch on them. Over the years, Diwali has lost its charm, with my sisters shifting to the US and us having tight work schedules. There have been times when I haven’t spent Diwali at home due to shoots. Though the preparations are still intact, there aren’t any colour- coordinated outfits to wear and no Nani to welcome us with open arms. But there are the diyas to light up our moods. Hence, Diwali has a mixture of happy-sad feelings of too many memories that were lived and lost.
Diwali has always been a family affair for me, and has innumerable memories attached with it like preparing for the Diwali puja at home, placing the Diyas and the candles and eating the scrumptious Laddoos and Barfis. It is very close to my heart and will always be.
I stopped bursting crackers many years back. Since I spend my Diwali in Delhi most of the times, we buy warm blankets and distribute them instead of wasting them on crackers. After that, it’s just spending time with family.
Diwali has always been a festival of bright lights, mithai and the bursting of firecrackers in our household. Rangoli and lights, new clothes and fun with the neighbours. I have many sweet memories of this festival, but the sweetest memory is a ritual that I have been following for the past 30 years. It goes back to my days of struggle, when I was trying to establish a foothold in the industry. I had come to this city of dreams with 34,000/- rupees, after selling my only possession, my car in Delhi. The money ran out before the first month was over, and I was running from pillar to post, trying to get work to make ends meet. I hadn’t eaten for three days when Deeya & Tony Singh of DJ’s – A creative Unit, called me for a one-scene role in their super hit show Banegi Apni Baat. And that one scene changed my life forever! They liked it so much, that I ended up doing that show for a whole year. Whatever I am today is due to that one scene that these two people gave me, when no one else was giving me a chance! Some times, all you really need in one chance. Ever since, it’s been 30 years, but I begin every Diwali by visiting their house, offering them sweets, and touching their feet. They get very embarrassed about this, but for me, they are and always will be my surrogate mother and father. And there is no embarrassment in touching your parents’ feet, even if they are younger to you!
Even though everyone has at least one happy memory associated with it, mine is different. A friend of mine got burnt while playing with crackers, and ever since I’ve stayed away from them. Stay safe, people.
We’re sure you are completely nostalgic right now. Why don’t you write down your most cherished Diwali memories in the comments below? Happy Diwali! Stay safe!