Happy Deepavali to readers of the blog! And what a fine number to celebrate this occasion, with this being my three hundredth post of the year (and the three hundredth day).
Last year, I wrote about how I spent the festival alone while working in the office. It was my first week in Mumbai, and I was experiencing corporate culture by being chucked into the deep end. I enjoyed the exposure and learnt a lot, but spending the festival without sweets and stuff pushed a lot of things into perspective.
This year, I’ve been celebrating the festival by spending the day with my grandmother. I arrived in Pune with the sole ambition of sleeping off my semester/exam woes and spending large portions of the day without doing too much. The festival provided fresh opportunity to do just that – but celebrations demand some break in routine. For me, this was waking up earlier than normal to have my hair oiled, take a shower, and then have breakfast. Then I spent some time with my little cousin, and then returned home to be with my grandmother.
People celebrate this festival in a lot of ways. Fireworks, lighting lamps, generally decorating, and wearing new clothes. Sweets are often included. A lot of people are visited/come to visit and generally, there’s a lot of cheer. All of these have the commonality of celebrating light, and the presence thereof.
Last year, Deepavali gave me the opportunity to think about loving myself – and enjoying my own company.
This Deepavali, I had the opportunity to reflect on the last two months and truly think about the celebration of light. The existence of the phenomenon also implies the existence of darkness. You celebrate the extinguishing of the darkness when you acknowledge the occurrence of light. So too it goes with people. We’re all made of light and dark. Celebrating the light requires an acknowledgement of the dark. Defeating the dark mandates the invocation of the light.
When I meet people henceforth, I’m always going to remember that. I also reckon I’m going to remember it about myself. As a person, my identity is defined by everything that happens to me, and everything I do: the light, the dark, the grey.
All I’m going to ensure is that I’m constantly moving toward the light.
That’s enough philosophizing for the day I think.
Happy Deepavali, everyone!