So Diwali is over and I spent it cribbing and complaining about how much I was missing home and all the festive fever in India. Well I have been brought up in a very strict Hindu culture, if any of you know what I mean when I say a typical Nair family. My grandmom used to not eat from the same plate that a person of another caste did and we had separate glasses and plates for the maids. (now you know what I mean). So all the festivals and rituals are sacred in our family. I liked to think of Diwali as a fun time. Dad getting sweets from his work place and shopping for the season. I was always scared of crackers as a child and my growing years it became a nuisance early in the morning and late in the night. But yesterday here in Stockholm I missed all that thoroughly. The lights outside each house and those big paper lights (kandils), and neighbors exchanging sweets and many more such things.
As I said it was all about having a gala time as a child. When I started working it was more about the holidays that I got from my work. I could stay back home because it was impossible to go out in the crowd. Every street is crowded with heavy pocket people spending and some others who are determined to loosen these pockets (directly or indirectly). Diwali is about spreading lights my teachers in school used to say. A fellow blogger Pooja Sridhar today tweeted that it made her sad to see poor kids come home to ask for left over food after Diwali. Guess it would make any sensible person sad. Imagine just the night before thousands have been blown up and in the morning you see these kids waiting at your door steps in the hope of getting something you might not have used. People take the words--Spreading Light, literally, like literally lighting of candles and diyas. I really wish they knew it would mean more to light some lives instead of just lighting up the houses. How about spreading some lights in the lives of such kids, instead of spending so much money on crackers and sweets that in the end get rotten.
To me it just becomes a selfish celebration then. I have seen a tradition wherein after someone dies, on their death anniversary or as a part of the cremation rituals poor people are fed with food. Why do we have to wait for someone to die to do all this yaar? Life is so precious why can all this not be done when you are alive. Why not just reduce your shopping expense on these extravagant celebrations and make a difference to someone's life ? Dropping coins in the boxes kept outside temple is anything but charity. No seriously, have you ever thought what happens to that money. I don't know if that is really accounted for, at the same time I also know of charitable institutions who take their responsibility seriously. I can totally understand when someone says that they do not believe giving donations and making charity to these institutions, but then how about doing it yourself. Don't do charity, be the change in someone's life. And changing a needy person's life just takes few of your changes. It does not take much to adopt a poor family and help them with their needs. Their needs are really small, and since you are doing it directly you can also see if your help is reaping benefits for them. In the whole year what you spend lavishly in the name of traditions and cultures can be reduced or cut short and put away to support your adopted family. That my friends I would call ---- Spreading Light !!!