This year was our first Diwali together as just our family.
First Diwali after marriage was with R’s parents (as per custom – it’s a custom I don’t like since why not with the girl’s parents or why not just the couple?), second Diwali R was in Finland and his mom was staying with me so it was just her and me, third Diwali Anna was 6 months old and Mummy was with us, fourth Diwali Anna and I went over to my parent’s place, fifth Diwali I had gone to US and returned just before Diwali and R’s mom had come over to help out and his dad also came over for Diwali, sixth Diwali Niki was 3 months old and Anna and Niki and I were again at my parent’s place.
As a result, I’ve never been the one doing all the preparations and making the decisions and this was in a way MY first Diwali. And I think I did do a good job :). The days leading up to Diwali were not really great, first Niki was sick, then even though he’s okay now he’s become really naughty (more on that in a separate post) and tires me out so much that by the time he’s asleep I don’t have any energy left to do anything else, then couple of days before Diwali my maid also fell sick (she’s fine now thankfully), so I was thinking that we’ll have a really low key Diwali this year. Plus the weather’s been really horrible for the past ten days (it even rained a lot yesterday evening) so the gloom had been infecting me.
But somehow on the day things fell in to place. I made kheer and for the first time it turned out really yummy and just like Mummy makes it. R had put up the lights on the balconies and bought diyas and stuff already so that was taken care of. He bought a few sparklers for Anna and she was really impatient for ‘pataka’ time the whole day. For the maids (all four of them) we’d already bought saris and sweets and so along with some money their ‘gift packs’ were quite nice and I think they were happy. They work so hard for us and make our lives so easy that no matter what I do for them it always feels less. In the afternoon Anna and I made a simple rangoli at our entrance and I was really surprised by how good she was at it and the fact that she didn’t spill a drop of colour anywhere (on the floor or on herself). Then we made a paste of rice and water and made Laksmi ji’s footprints. Again Anna did most of the work, dipping her little hands into the paste and pressing them on the floor to make the foot while I made dots for the toes.
Then we all got dressed up (I am getting quite good and quick at draping saris :)) and went to my cousin’s for a quick Diwali visit. Came back, the kids had dinner – aaloo subzi and poori (always cheers me up) and of course my yummy yummy kheer (Anna loved it but Niki refused to eat it). By then it was time for the pooja. Lit up all the diyas and just managed to sing Om Jai Jagdish (rather hurriedly) since Niki was doing his best to grab the flames. Then R and Anna lit some sparklers while Niki and I watched. My little girl who a year ago was so scared of ‘patakas’, was not scared at all this year and really enjoyed herself. Niki was just happy seeing all the ‘lighties’, one of his most favourite things in the whole world. Then bedtime for the kids (Niki was almost impossible to put down and I looked and felt like I had lost a wrestling match when I came out after he was finally asleep). We then put the diyas all around the house and collapsed on the sofa for a couple of hours of mindless TV watching (and snuggling).
All dressed up.
Proud of her Rangoli.
She’s such a big girl now.