Diwali has always been a huge festival for my family. Right from the time I was growing up, it held an immense amount of significance and charm for us. In this Diwali season when I see children in our apartment complex excited and in celebratory mood, it excites me. I realize more than ever how important it is for parents to have their beloved little ones always in happy and healthy states. In fact how much my husband and I believe that a healthy child makes a healthy home, can be gathered from my experiences around Diwali itself!
Through these years, my children’s participation in the Diwali celebrations has been one of the foremost ways in which we have realized how much my husband and I delight in their well-being. Our preparations for Diwali have always been manifold. They would start months in advance with the onset of the festive season with Navratras. The days of fasting and praying to Goddess Durga are only a slight indication of the excitement that was soon to follow. These nine holy days that end in the festival of Dusshera would be holiday time in my children’s schools. This formally marked the beginning of Diwali time. We would go to a lot of fairs and have tonnes of ‘chaat’. Spicy, sticky, snack items made of crisps, potatoes, tamarind, mint and many other exotic spices – surprisingly and thankfully my children have had healthy immune systems that have helped them digest and intake this street food very well and not have any adverse reactions to it. Then we would watch ‘ram-lila’ sitting on the grass, eat candy, talk loudly and have a wonderful time. Again my children have never been the complaining typed who only want to sit in air-conditioned rooms. They are humble and love to stay ‘real’ – of course their healthy bodies and minds kept us worry free and we could take everywhere with us.
Very shortly after navratras is Karwa-chauth, the festival where wives fast for the long lives of their beloved husbands. The official cleaning for Diwali would have started by now so my kids would be busy in that while I would relax a bit through the day to save energy. Like excited and sturdy workers, my children would keep at the work without complaining or needing constant breaks. At night, after the moon was out, we would all have a large and delicious meal. In the days between Karwa-chauth and Diwali, we would shop till we dropped. New clothes, shoes, home furnishings and what not! This would be the best season for the shopping fanatics like me.
Around three days before Diwali, we would start decorating the house, mainly with flowers and rangoli (a colorful assortment of designs in front of doors). My children would take part in it with most enthusiasm. This is the time of the year in Delhi when cold starts setting in and many children in our locality would start complaining of chest congestion, cold, fever etc, my children would most of the times be living fancy-free (by the grace of God, natural foods, healthy lifestyles and Ayurvedis formulations like Dabur Chyawanprash).
This would allow us to enjoy Diwali with abandon and no stress. At night, the deities would be arranged with sweets, flowers, incense and many other things. Special food would be cooked, people invited, crackers burst and candles lit. Sweets would be distributed to friends and family. The entire family prayed together, singing devotional songs. After that it would be time for the lavish feast where we would eat the choicest of delicacies! This year as well, as our family would once again get together for some wonderful moments together at Diwali, I would continue to pray that my children, who are my pride and joy, continue to enjoy the healthiest and best of lives!
(p.s. This post is written for this campaign.)