Diwali 2020 at Tapasya House (A short story)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Meenakshi was switching channels on TV when Suneedhi came in and sat down next to her.

“Mummy! When are we going to get new dresses for Diwali?”

Meenakshi was too focused in tuning in to her favourite show to respond.

“Mummy!! Tell me when are we doing Diwali shopping?”

This time she noticed. “Well, as you know, Suneedhi, that it is Corona everywhere. It will be better if we don’t go outside unless it is urgent.”
“But…it’s Diwali shopping! It’s urgent!” Suneedhi said, all doe-eyed.

Meenakshi smiled. The urgency in her daughter’s voice reminded her that her seventeen years old daughter could still behave like a small child.

“Well, your father and I had a talk yesterday. We have decided to ditch Diwali shopping this year. Besides, Diwali does not just mean new dresses or sweets or candles. It largely means sharing and togetherness, and the victory of good over evil.”

Suneedhi blew a raspberry. “Yeah but I don’t have anything new to wear! Every Diwali we wear something new! Isn’t that a custom too? Even Aaryan has a new set of kurta-pyjama. He was showing me just yesterday!”

Meenakshi took a deep sigh. With the zeal her daughter ended each sentence with an exclamation, she knew the matter was now too urgent to ignore. Her tele show could wait anyway.
“Yes. Buying new cloths is customary but given the scenario of the virus, we must stay inside and do our best to keep the community safe. It is our prime duty, Suneedhi. Besides, Aaryan had purchased two sets last year. He was simply showing you the last year’s shopping.”

Suneedhi bit her lower lip. Her mother’s words jingled true. Corona virus has obliged the world to retreat and it’d only be wise to stay inside. Still…it was Diwali! How could she miss out on wearing new lehenga along with new ear rings and shiny bangles? What would she post on Facebook and Instagram? Pictures wearing old cloths and old accessories? Her friends would make a big joke out of her. Just thinking about it thrilled her with humiliation and sadness.

“Suneedhi,” Meenakshi touched her cheek gently. “I know what we are asking of you is huge. Maybe something next to impossible but we cannot do anything about it. We are sorry! Shopping isn’t as urgent as seeing a doctor or getting the grocery. Please! On your mother’s request, can you wear something from your wardrobe?”

Suneedhi imagined herself flicking through her clothes which were either old or too simple for a grand festival such as Diwali.
“Also, can you not sulk while doing that?”
“Okay!” She said feeling all enthusiasm melting away. So, this is how Diwali 2020 is going to be? Wearing old stuff and pretending to look happy? Could this year be good in any sense?

Suneedhi could have handled the harsh reality if her brother had not left any stone unturned to tease and boast about his new set of cloths. That saddened her further every time. Until Diwali finally arrived at Tapasya House, Aaryan and Suneedhi fought every day over trivial matters.

In the evening, Suneedhi was far from happy whereas Aaryan jumped around the house with envious glee and joy.

“I am wearing a new dress. Suneedhi didi is wearing an old set.” Aaryan was a cheeky twelve years old boy.

Suneedhi had given up. There was no point in fighting on the day of festival. Besides, she could not change her destiny no matter the number of times she hid her brother’s stuff.

Suneedhi and Aaryan had taken the responsibility to draw a beautiful lotus-shaped Rangoli. They also lit up lanterns and diyas in the balconies as well as on the terrace. Diwali lights were set and hung all around the house a week before. The whole Tapasya House sparkled like a bowl of diamonds. After all, the light holds the true spirit of the festival.

After dinner, Saurabh played a twenty minutes long slideshow. It had pictures of previous festivals, including Diwali, where they had fun and celebration with family and friends. Suneedhi forgot all about her worries and stress watching those pictures. In fact, she laughed so hard at some of them that it almost broke her into tears. Those pictures nudged her to re-think of her definition of happiness and festivals.

For the first time in two weeks, the brother and the sister sat side by side without fighting. Meenakshi and Saurabh were happy looking at their children. The idea was working. Time to put forward another one.

“It’s time for another surprise!” Meenakshi broke in the moment the slideshow ended. She did not want her children’s happiness to end. Not so soon, at least.
Aaryan and Suneedhi glared at their parents. “What surprise?”

“It’s not only Diwali night but it is also…” Meenakshi paused for the added effect. “…A GAME NIGHT! We are going to play games!”
“Games?” Aaryan blinked.
“Yes! And winners are going to get…be ready…AMAZING GIFTS!” It was Saurabh infected with the festival’s undying spirit.
“YESS!!!”
Everyone looked into the direction where such an over-enthusiastic remark had erupted from. It was Suneedhi. They welcomed her childish excitement. They played for hours.
It was late into the night when they finally said Good Night. Laying on bed, Meenakshi and Saurabh reminisced the evening.

“When you said Suneedhi was sad about this Diwali, I thought we must do something. We can’t let our children be sad or anything like it on a festival.” Saurabh said to his wife.

“Yes. Your Game Night idea worked brilliantly, Saurabh. Kids loved it! Did you see Suneedhi? How she screamed with joy?”

“How could I not? It was so unmissable! And your picture slideshow idea worked equally brilliant too, Meenakshi. Suneedhi and Aaryan sat glued together laughing and talking at those memories.”

“Yeah. It was a beautiful evening.” Meenakshi pondered for a moment. “Would it be an exaggeration to say that Diwali 2020 has been the best so far?”

“Not at all. By far, it has been the best Diwali. We are together more than ever!” Saurabh said kissing on his wife’s forehead. “Happy Diwali, love! Now let’s sleep.”
In her room, Suneedhi sat with her mobile phone. What to post on Facebook? She could see her friends and cousins had already shared pictures of lighting diyas and bursting crackers. At Tapasya house, no one did crackers. It is bad for our environment. Her Papa said it every year.

Meenakshi clicked on Gallery. She looked at the pictures she had captured the whole evening. In all of them, she could see clearly now, she was enjoying and laughing and cracking jokes and helping her parents. Teasing Aaryan was a daily ritual yet it too had gone up a notch this evening. In all of those pictures she sensed how this Diwali had gone on to be more special.

She closely observed how her plain salwar-kameez looked bright and festive in the presence of those lights. How her old ear rings bounced with newly found joy, and how her face had pulled in a magnificent glow during those games and watching the slideshow!

It was the best Diwali! Her heart whispered. Her eyes filled with tears. Her Mummy was right. Festivals are about sharing and celebrating togetherness. Festivals are about winning over negative thoughts. She realized upon a close introspection that cloths and ear rings never actually brought the joy. It was her family which always did. How could she not see that? How silly I am!
She selected a string of pictures and began posting on her Facebook and Instagram with the below caption. She could not sleep without letting the world know how thrilling her Diwali had been.

Festivals are there to make us realize the value of family and friends, and the spirit of togetherness. In the time of Corona, I am redefining the meanings of many things, including love, togetherness and happiness. Happy Diwali!

Comments started pouring in soon after. They were positive and encouraging. Some were funny too. One of her friends commented on one picture.
Isn’t that an old dress?

Yes, but the joy is new. Happy Diwali, dear! Suneedhi smiled while typing the reply. As long as they were together, every day was festive.






Priyanka Baranwal is an author, blogger, YouTuber, poet, and a guitarist.



Report:
Priyanka Baranwal
Disclaimer: Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility for them.

Express your comments...

Submit your comments...

     

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.
Do you know the time when ladies of all age are found in cl...
Diwali, the festival of lights is full of pomp and colour a...
Diwali the festival of lights makes every Indian’s heart jo...
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights, usually lasting fi...
Meenakshi was switching channels on TV when Suneedhi came i...
Diwali, also known as festival of lights, is a beautifu...
Asatoma Sad-Gamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya Mrytyor...
Diwali illuminates the road to prosperity and happiness...
Let me take this opportunity to let all the viewers who vis...
Diwali is a festival which sparkles the world as well a...
Diwali aka Deepavali aka Light is just what we need right...
The rows of buoyant flames are what Diwali means to ever...
Diwali the festival of lights makes every Indian’s heart jo...
The word meaning of Diwali also known as ‘Deepavali’ mean...
Most awaited festival Diwali is here! It is the time for vi...
As we all know Diwali is a festival that is celebrated no...
Diwali, is also known as Deepavali celebrated all over Indi...
Diwali, the festival of lights is full of pomp and colour a...
Folks!! It’s Diwali… As a family, we relish all religious...
The first day of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanter...
Diwali, is also known as Deepavali celebrated all over In...
MAY ALL OF US BE ABLE TO DEFEAT DARKNESS FROM OUR LIVES-HAP...
The arrival of Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory o...
Diwali-A Global Festival-(BASED ON THE CELEBRATION OF THE F...
Diwali - the festival of lights, a day that is lit up with ...
Ya know… its Diwali… TIME TO FULFILL MY MUDEROUS ENDEAV...
Diwali or Dipavali is a Hindu festival which is celebrated ...
What is Diwali? Diwali is the five-day festival of lights,...
Diwali is the festival of lights also known as Deepavali an...
The Time When Your Heart Misses a Beat But Finds it Later ...
Diwali is the festival of lights and during Diwali the sky ...
Diwali - The festival of lights, this Diwali design and dec...
Diwali – The festival of lights, is the most awaited festiv...
Diwali, the festival of light!! It is a time of immense joy...
Diwali the festival of lights brings ...
The festival of lights is celebrated with great fervour in ...
Diwali or Dipawali, a bright colourful festival of lights c...
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights celebrated by Hindu...
Diwali is the 5 days festival of light celebrated by Hindus...
Diwali , the festival of lights , brings with it a spirit o...
Diwali also known as ‘Deepawali' is a Hindu festival of lig...
Diwali, a festival of lights is celebrated by Indians all o...
Diwali also known as Deepawali is one of India's biggest fe...
Diwali is one of the most important festivals of India whic...
Every year as November rolls around the air gets crispier; ...
Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights, usually lasting five ...
Diwali also known as the festival of lights. This year it...
Bursting crackers has become a habit during Diwali. Firecra...
Tips and Suggestions WHAT IS DIWALI? *Diwali is the fiv...
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, and it usually fall...
Many festivals are celebrated throughout the year in India,...
The saying, ‘You never know what you have unless you lose i...
Diwali is a traditional festival of India. It is celebrated...
On diwali people light diyas .These diyas hold deep signifi...
Crackers have begun!!!!This year (2020) on Nov 14 on childr...
Diwali is the festival of lights. It lasts for 5 days and i...
How beautiful is the day, Of the festival of lights. Ligh...
The lights are sparkling The fireworks are going boom!!.....
Diwali is known as the “Festival of Lights” and is one of t...
Diwali or Deepawali is considered India’s biggest and the m...
As we all know that Diwali is also known as “FESTIVAL OF LI...
Diwali is the traditions festival of lights celebrated in I...
MAY ALL OF US BE ABLE TO DEFEAT DARKNESS FROM OUR LIVES-HAP...
When you think about Diwali the first picture which comes t...
Significance of Diyas, Rangoli, Lanterns And Sweets During ...
Diwali also known as the festival of lights is celebrated e...
Diwali is one of the most popular festival of Hindus which ...
Diwali also called as ‘Deepavali’ is the Indian festival of...
A festival that lights up the sky with glamourous fireworks...
Diwali is the festival of luminescence. It is the significa...
Diwali is here! It marks a special time of celebration and ...
Before describing the Diwali of NRI´s we should know what i...
Diwali , the festival of lights, brings with it a spirit of...
What is Diwali and how to celebrate the festival of light? ...
Diwali is the most important religious festival celebrated ...
DIWALI OR DEEPAWALI is “the festival of lights” It is on...
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights celebrated by the H...
Diwali is the festival of lights. Majorly Hindus celebrate ...
There are a lot of thing we use or thing that go unnoticed ...
Diwali a festival of light and hope celebrated by Hindus an...
Diwali is like combining a bit of Christmas, New Year’s Eve...
Festivals are times of celebration. One of those festival i...
Diwali is the festival of light. It is celebrated every ye...
“Life should be a continual celebration, a festival of ligh...
A exhilarating , admirable and a grand festival that takes ...
Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated with great gran...
Lights Lights Lights All over the house Lights lights lig...
The festival of Diwali or the festival of lights is a very ...
In India there are so many festivals like: Kite Flying Day,...
- Use beautiful torans of beads and pearls to decorate the ...