Lights, festivities, nostalgia: Delhi residents speak about missing Diwali celebrations
On the occasion of Diwali, we speak to a few Delhiites who will miss out on celebrations as they spend the festival of lights away from home.
Festivals are all about experiencing oneness. Apart from getting a break from your nine-to-five jobs and frenzied schedules, you end up helping family with chores that you usually avoid or even buying presents to exhibit your affection for them.
While most of us have an opportunity of being surrounded by loved ones, a few are not as lucky. Those stuck in hostels, or others who've relocated for work, will experience festive blues today.
Trip down memory lane
Priyanshi Jindal (21) recently moved from Delhi to a hostel in Lucknow. Busy with assignments and placements, she is missing out on a Diwali at home. Torn between feeling excited to stay alone and melancholic about being away from friends and family, Jindal is currently experiencing mixed emotions. "I was excited about being in college, away from home. But, as I have settled in, I feel a tad nostalgic," he says.
She recounts how her mother would prepare Chole Puri during this time. "I recently had Chole Puri for dinner; it reminded me of home." Talking about Diwali at home, she concludes, "My family is not big on festivals; we usually keep everything low-key. But the feeling of being home on Diwali is one that no other place can replicate."
Alone yet 'paw' sitive
It has been two years since Spraha Tiwari from Gurugram - a copywriter who moved to Delhi for college - spent Diwali with her family. Even though her family is not enthusiastic about the festival, she misses the feeling that comes with being home on this day.
"Whenever I am unable to go home on Diwali, my biggest regret is missing the Panchamrita [a devotional offering] that my mom prepares. It is worth buying a Rs 5,000 ticket and flying all the way to my home in Chhattisgarh," she adds.
Though away from home, Tiwari plans to celebrate the day with her pet cat Miu. "Previously, I have spent Diwali with my friends’ families, but that does not match the vibe of one’s home. This year, it will be just me and my cat," she says.
Blast from the past
For Aviral Bansal (22), a BITS-Goa student who is interning in Hyderabad, this Diwali will be slightly different than usual. "We ensure that the family celebrates Diwali together. Though I will be home next week, my mother is sappy about my absence today," he says.
Bansal reminisces about a game he would play with his family every Diwali. “We have an elaborate Diwali celebration. We conduct puja twice and in the evening, we play a game called Dukan-Dukan, which is like a trading game. As kids, we would only burst crackers after we ended the game. I miss that time; it was fun," Bansal concludes.
Lighten your mood
Surround yourself with anyone who makes you feel loved - Priyanshi Jindal
It is a festival even if you’re not going home. Clean your house, cook something nice, create a Rangoli; do what makes you happy - Spraha Tiwari
If you feel lonely, video call your family celebrating at home - Aviral Bansal