Diwali, some call it the festival of lights, where as others call it the festival of pollution. People have changed with time for they are responding to the call by Going Green. This year there is a drastic reduce in the amount of crackers being burst. Not that it has stopped completely but still what’s Diwali without the sound of Crackers?
From a Tambrahm’s view, The Diwali week is marked with the purchase of new clothes. A fine Sunday after a  brunch, starts the apparel purchase. A lot of thought goes into this for no black should be bought in this festive season. Black represents death. Nothing is as tedious as shopping for clothes with theperivaal objecting to each and every design or colour you choose. In the end you are forced to take a plain white uncle’s shirt.
After this hunt, the job is now divided between the kudumbathaal (Family members). The children are occupied with the procurement of crackers. A huge list of the crackers  available is sent to the house and a mark is made against the crackers wanted and the list is sent back. There starts the fervour.
Meanwhile, the aathu ladies (Family ladies) are busy making sweets and savouries. One should enter the house during this time for the smell would just make you wait and grab a bite of the sweet. But you have to wait until Diwali to taste for they have to be offered to the god first.
The dhoom dhamaal starts approximately two or three days before Diwali. The persistent noise irritates the oldies but for most it just makes them more excited. The bursting reaches its peak on the eve of Diwali. The dark sky is filled with colours and the sight is just magnificent. The noise doesn’t stop and it continues throughout the following day and it makes you wonder if people are really jobless.
The entire household is up by 4am. The mother is busy applying oil on everyone’s head. After this a proper head bath with the Ganga water. This makes you PURE. And you can see the household dressed traditionally with this huge vibudhi (Ash) on the forehead. The household is on the road with a big saram (1000 wala) stretched out in the road. The male (either the dad or the son) with the incense stick lights the cracker and Shastra padi (According to Shaastras) their begins their joy and prosperity for the following year.
The next most important thing is sharing. You don’t see a single family consuming everything. The relatives all assemble in the eldest member of the family’s place, usually it’s the Patti Thatha’s place (Grandmother and Granddad’s). The traditional Diwali lunch is cooked with Sakarapongal(SugarPongal), Payasam and Vada. After a sumptuous lunch, the family sits in front of the television to watch the Diwali special movie and there starts the incessant gossip.
This continues for quite some time after which the family sinks into a siesta. This is followed by snacks, usually Vada and Coffee. The aroma of the coffee decoction lingers around the household. After having energised continues the next round of bursting. Decorating the sky with colours.

After a tiring day all you would want is to sink your head into the soft pillow. And when you finally do that, there goes KABOOM!
And you realise, “Oh Diwali is not over”, and you would just pray for the sounds to cease.

-Karthik Margabandu

(Regional Head-Chennai, Campus Writing)

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

http://inkkheart.blogspot.in

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