Some 'Deepavali' malarum ninaivugal:
* Deepavali was understandably the most eagerly awaited festival for me - for the firecrackers. Months before Deepavali, I would start counting the exact hours left for that.. ;) The timeline is the 6 PM on the day before, i.e., the 'Naraga chaturdasi'. The excitement on those two days, was, unfortunately followed by the sudden low when I wake up the next day.. but then the 'Karthigai' festival always acted as a cushion to relieve the depression. Thanks Muruga!!
* Until my age 12, I always celebrated it with my parents; so when I had to be away bcos of my studies on the 13th year, I was really very sad.. c'd never really enjoy it. That was when I decided that I would never be out of my home during Deepavali, no matter what. I could keep that wish for 11 Diwalis after that, but for the 25th, I was stuck in Bangalore, despite my best efforts. And it so happened that, since then, I could never be with my parents.. :( Kaadhalukkaga thyagam!
* During my teenage, most often we would be celebrating it at our uncles/aunt's home. A very happy reunion time and with more people, it was always fun. Super samaiyal from Amma, cameraderie with cousins, smelling the smoke of 'saattai' and firing rockets towards the sky.. Each and every small thing was soo exciting.
* The hyper-enthu for the firecrackers continued until the mid-90's.. That was the sole purpose of Diwali almost.. The special programs on TV acted just as a breather in the middle of some real loud burstings. Most eagerly awaited program was 'Pudhupadal', showing a masterpiece Ilayaraja song from that year's Deepavali release. Some of the unforgettable songs include "Kanmani anbodu..", "Rakkamma kaiya thattu..", and "Sundari neeyum..".
* With the intrusion of Sun TV and its "Special-Live-from-Manila" programs, the sitting time in front of the idiot box slowly increased.. In '97 and '98, I really wished we turned the TV off and focussed only on the most important stuff.. but that was not the case to be.
* The past 2 years have been total bore here in the US.. no fireworks, no holiday, no nothing.. This year, even worse.. my other half will be celebrating it with her family and wishing me thr phone, while I will be sulking here alone.. Luckily, I got hold of a second-degree-cousin to spend the Diwali weekend.. so, hopefully, I will get a nice 'vaazhai ilai saappadu' and lots of fun with them and their friends.
Here is me wishing you all a very happy and joyous Deepavali 2006!! Burst away crackers on my behalf, and eat well too!! ;)