First and foremost, a happy diwali to you. If you’re reading this after diwali, then advance wishes for the next year. I hope all my readers get their wishes fulfilled, unless said wishes are sinister, in that case, I don’t hope that wish gets fulfilled.

Diwali has always been my favourite festival. I love the lights, I love the sweets, I love how people meet and greet each other, I love every bit of it. When I was just a little kid, I was too scared of firecrackers. Even to this day I’m a bit wary when handling fire. (Thank God I didn’t become a firefighter.) So back then, my siblings used to light up the crackers and I enjoyed watching the show from a distance, I loved that.

The age gap between me and my siblings is a bit on the higher side. The schools in my hometown were not up to the mark, which meant both of my siblings had to move out for further studies. In essence, I grew up as an only child after second grade (by that time both had moved out). Even then, they always used to come home for Diwali. Sometimes they missed New Year’s, most of the times they missed Holi and Dashehra, but they were always back for Diwali. Even when they didn’t have official vacations, they still bunked classes to be back home, and being the little kid of the house, I got spoiled with gifts and accessories around that time, it was the best.

As I grew up, my fear of firecrackers started waning and I started bursting them on my own. It was fun for a couple of years, but I didn’t think it was worth the pollution it was causing, so I stopped. If given a chance, I still burst one or two, but just to keep the tradition growing.

In 2010, it was my turn to move out of the house for better prospects at a juvenile age of 16. Since the school I went to was only an overnight journey far, I never missed any festivals, Diwali included. By that time my brother had already moved to the US so it was just the four of us that year. It was the year in which my motorcycle was stolen right on the day of Diwali, and I still am angry about it to this day.

After that year, things haven’t really been the same. I last spent the day if Diwali with my parents back in 2012. By 2013, I had moved halfway across the country for college. Thankfully, my sister and her husband used to stay in the same city as me so I got to spend at least part family time there. Afterwards, even they moved to the US. (Why is everyone moving there?)

From next year onwards, I could only celebrate a bit in the hostel I used to live in. The friends I had there helped me keep my sanity. They were like a family away from family to me. We used to take walks outside the campus and watch fireworks in the sky. In my deepest moments of self doubt, they were there for me, cheering me on at every step. I am glad I got to spend a few festivals with them.

This year is a bit different too. For the first time since 2012, I’m with my parents for Diwali. Even though the other siblings are not here, I am trying to make up for their absence as much as possible, I want to be the best son there ever was, I want to be like Shravan Kumar.

I wonder what the future holds for me. I just hope its all well and good, and I hope everything remains good for you too dear reader.

Much love