Every year, I get the blues on this day if I am out of India. This year is no exception. I try to make this day as exciting as possible for the kids but if theres no prospect of going out of the house bright and bushy tailed even before the sunrise and burst crackers, whats the point of getting up early and dressing up, pray tell? Nevertheless, I took Ashu and Antu out shopping yesterday and let them choose their new dresses. Ashu loved the experience and felt all grown up. I made Double ka Meetha sweet which Ashu and Antu refused to even try and Diamond biscuits which did nt even live to see daylight because Antu thought that that was dinner! Getting up early has never been a problem in this household. For the kids, I mean. So they got up around 5.30 am and came to our bed. And instead of swatting them away and curling up in my duvet like I always do, I yelled "Happy Deepavali" and got up much to their collective shock! But it was just the beginning. When I heated up some oil and massaged their hair with it, they crinkled their nose because of the strong smell and Antu who on regular days hates water in her hair, glared a "dont you dare at this time of the day!" look at me. Ashu was all whiny too. For a minute, I wondered what the whole point is! Ashu has school. Hd has office. As usual. What am I going to achieve by doing all this? Then I let out a deep sigh and decided I am not letting go of this tradition. Never. Its one of the strongest memories for me and if I close my eyes I can smell the arappu, nallennai and all the smoke form the burst crackers and sparklers. I did what any self respecting mother would do. "Do you guys know you can eat as many sweets as you want today? You can even eat your gummy vites first and then drink your milk, Ashu!" Bribe. Nothing works like bribe. Ashu could nt believe her ears. "Really, Amma? Wow!" And Antu who has never eaten a piece of chocolate until today and thinks that chocolates are "dirty" decided to change her mind and try one. Welcome to the big bad world of chocolates, my dear girl! If not on Deepavali, then when? Bathing, dressing up, etc.. were all done on fast forward with minimum crying by Antu. I decided to make Hd feel special too by making Pongal and Chutney and the man does nt know what hit him! Hes off to drop Ashu in school now. (Did nt I tell nothing works like bribe? ;) Parents, Sis, Bil and a special friend called to wish and now at 9 am, it does feel a little like Deepavali with my damp hair, the fragrance of incense sticks and candles lingering in the air, our new dresses with a touch of kungumam in them and a very tempting dabba of double ka meetha.
Wishing you all a wonderful, wonderful Deepavali!