Faded Memories of a Diwali gone by



Memories are such a lovely thing. Many of best ones are associated with the festival of light. So I am thinking of starting a yearly post on my blog on the lines of ‘This Day that Age’ column in Hindu. This day in 2013, I reminisce over my most memorable Diwali: that of 1990. It seems like it happened just yesterday. But 23 years, nearly quarter the human life span has passed in the bat of an eye lid. I wonder whether I shall suddenly find myself writing about this year’s Diwali 23 years later with my grown up son in the next bat of another eyelid.

The thing I remember most about that Diwali was that it was when I moved from reading children’s novels to adult’s novels. My mother was a member of a mobile library and she had picked up a Jeffrey Archer and an Agatha Christie. I had nearly a week long vacation at school that year: the longest ever. I settled down happily to read ‘Not a Penny More not a Penny Less’ and ‘Towards Zero’. I remember trying to concentrate on the books amidst the sound of crackers all around. Those years, there was not so much sound control and Diwali used to be celebrated very loud. Somehow I liked it: trying to create an oasis of peace in my mind amidst the entire din outside.

Not that I did not like crackers either. That year father had got a box for two hundred bucks through some scheme at office. If shopping for crackers has one kind of attraction, getting a box with an assortment of crackers chosen by someone else is all together a different kind of attraction. There is this sense of discovery and surprise in opening the box and exploring its contents. Often you find some new type of firework that you might not have purchased yourself. The surprise item I remember from that year was diamonds: small magnesium tablets that glow like diamonds on being lit up. My usual favorites were also there: roll caps and snakes. Snakes are black colored tablets from which a black colored zombie snake emerges on setting to fire. Roll caps are something you start with before Diwali and stays many days after. That year the remaining roll caps led to another incident later that is detailed in this post.

Another memorable thing about that year was my first camera. Those were the pre-digital camera days. My father had got me a Kodak camera for my birthday that year and two free film rolls had come with the camera. We had a fun time snapping away during Diwali.

Last but not the least, in fact the most important: the people. Having been brought up in a nuclear family, I have fascination for joint family with house full of people. My maternal grandparents and my mom’s younger brother had come over to celebrate Diwali with us. So I remember having a gala time with lots of people around the house and the associated chaos.

Those were some of the fragments of memories from the Diwali past. It is all hazy now but the very thought of that Diwali brings a smile to my face.

28 comments:

Khushboo Motihar said...

Loved reading your post. Coming from a joint family, when I think of Diwali in my childhood, all I can remember is chaos. But that chaos never failed to make me laugh. Guess that is what Diwali is all about :)

Hope you visit my blog sometime http://munniofalltrades.blogspot.in/

The Fool said...

Thanks Khusboo. Will drop by at your blog.

Abhra said...

Nice and rich details of memories - thanks for sharing.

The Fool said...

Thanks Abhra.

Namrota said...

Such memories always places a lovely smile on our faces.

Happy Diwali :)

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Namrota. Wish you the same.

Arun Prasath said...

Sweet Memories!!! Happy Diwali :D

Snehal said...

I have tried doing this. Once I started reading a novel when crackers started bursting in full swing. Even when I found the book interesting, the loud and sudden BOOM startled me like hell. Then I shut the novel and went outside to join my brother to explode anar bombs and whistling rockets :)

Memories revisited!...... Have a safe and bombastic Diwali !! Cheers!

Diwakar Narayan said...

With so many people talking about their old Diwali days, I too am thinking of a post on the same line :)

The Fool said...

Thanks Arun. Wish you the same.

The Fool said...

It is tough but kind of fun. Thanks. Wish you a happy Diwali too.

The Fool said...

You must, Diwa.

umashankar said...

TF, it's always a pleasure to read your reminiscences -they are such lovely windows to your younger days. I cannot begin telling you how much I can identify with this post of yours. I will wait for further installments.

Having posted a gibberish on memories on my blog a few minutes back, I'll postpone the temptation to relive the bygone Diwalis to the months that will come. How I wish sometimes though, it were yesterday once more!

The Fool said...

Thanks umashankar. It is indeed a coincidence. Maybe Diwali takes us all down the memory lane. Would be interested in reading your Diwali memories.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

That was a lovely trip down nostalgia lane, TF! I don't know what it is about me - I very seldom do these trips even in my mind though I am supposedly of the age when I should be always starting to converse with "In the good old days.." :)

Tarang Sinha said...

It's a very interesting idea! We often think about it.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I've visited your FB page & it's really nice. But I'm not on Facebook (I've created a page only) so, I don't know how to post the link on the Indian Bloggers Books page. I'm currently reading Happy Birthday by Meghna Pant. Will post the review soon. I'll share that with you and you can post that on the IBB page. Thanks!:)

Rachna said...

1990 was the year when I passed my 10th Boards, ICSE. I really don't recall how the Diwali was that year. In Mumbai then, I hated the nuisance of competitive cracker bursting that went on till wee hours of the morning. I, however, have fond memories of my earlier Diwalis that were spent amidst grandparents and uncles, aunts and cousins in my maternal grandparents house. You are right; Diwali is a joy in a house full of relatives. I miss those days. Loved reading your reminiscence. It took me down memory lane as well!

The Fool said...

Thanks Suresh. Maybe because you have achieved the ability to live completely in the present. You are possibly blessed.

The Fool said...

Ha! ICSE? I too passed my tenth in ICSE - 5 years after you.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

Lovely memories to remember..:-)
Thank you so much for notifying me about facebook page of book bloggers.That's a wonderful page.I would be delighted to join the group :-)
Thank you once again,Nagini.

indu chhibber said...

A sweet soothing post of memories-what are we without them?

The Fool said...

Thanks Indu.

The Fool said...

Thanks Nagini. Hope to see you actively participate in the FB page.

DS said...

Nice nostalgic post tf. Reminded me of my Diwali days when we would have vacations and would go around gorging on sweets!!

jaish_vats said...

Festivals do leave some evergreen memories. I loved those snake ones too though I was not very fond of capes

The Fool said...

Good to see you back here, DS.

The Fool said...

Capes was more of a boys thingy I guess, Jayashree.

Tarang Sinha said...

Hi! Here's the link of Happy Birthday by Meghna Pant (Book Review on my blog): http://tarangsinha.blogspot.in/2013/11/book-review-happy-birthday-by-meghna.html

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