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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Diwali is here...

Its that time of the year again, its Diwali. For those who don't know, Diwali, also called Deepavali in some places of India, is like the 1st or 2nd most important of the number of festivals we have. Its lot of fun for kids in India, they get to do all the fire works on the streets, we call then fire crackers, there are those that make lot of noise, those that sparkle, those that just produce just smoke. We have to close the doors and windows in India and still cannot hear the audio of those lovely special TV programs we get to watch while eating those sweety sweets. These days environmentalists are urging people not to do that, no, they are not saying not to eat sweets, but not to do the fire works. It also leaves a lot of mess on the streets that takes days to clean up. While I am all for environment and going green, it is still so hard for me to say no, it was so much fun for me as a kid.

Being far away from home, I used to wonder a lot about what we miss, what the kids miss here miss and without my knowledge I started taking extra care to keep some traditions alive. I still remember the Diwali season, as a kid I would shop in those crowded streets with my mom for that special outfit to wear during Diwali, buying those fire crackers and restlessly waiting for the Diwali night to have fun, enjoying those sweets and savories that my mom makes for us and to share with friends and relatives. There is a lot of preparation involved, from shopping from all those ingredients and getting the flour ground at the rice mill, I don't think people bought ready made flour 10 years ago in India. She used to bring the gas stove from the counter, set it on the floor and sit comfortably on a low seat, for the quantity she makes and the time it takes, she better get comfy. With me and my brother watching eagerly from a distance, the ritual starts the weekend before Diwali, with my mom and sisters helping each other getting all the bakshanam ready. Then comes the fun part, all the neighbours, relatives, watchman, post man, street vendors, everyone get their share.

While I haven't done any of my mom's specialities this year, like Athirasam (arisalu) or Badhusha or Mysore pak, I did some sweets and snacks, which I will post in my following posts.

Have a happy and safe Diwali everyone !

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