Today was Diwali. The calendar reminded me about it and so did Facebook. But I don’t know why it didn’t feel like it was indeed Diwali. After roaming around the college till 4.30 a.m., I woke up at 2.52 p.m. I checked my mobile, everyone was sending good wishes for Diwali, effectively reminding me that its Diwali. So I replied them back and I wondered what to do next. Nidhi called me and invited me to join the group to watch a movie. But I didn’t have enough energy to do so. So I chose to visit my first love once again. That is, I chose my beloved sleep.
Again, I got a call from Nidhi in the evening. She enquired about my whereabouts. I told her that I was still sleeping. She tried to sound angry (I know she can’t get angry in real life) and asked me to get ready ASAP and join others over dinner outside the campus. I couldn’t say no and had to accept her request. I again checked those messages and found one of them to be really nice and sent it forward to my friends. Realising the late timing of the message, one of them even asked me how many times was I gonna wish! How was I supposed to tell her that I still didn’t feel like it is Diwali.
Then my fellow council member asked me to come to Pooja (the prayer ceremony, not the girl), so finally I said goodbye to my bed and freshened up. I went to the venue where the Pooja was organised, people were happy and jovial. Everyone exchanged wishes on Diwali. But I couldn’t conjure that feeling. I was merely reciprocating to people but hardly did I initiate a greeting. Finally, I tried to get myself busy with my newly found love at IIM Lucknow of taking photos.
When I was a kid, if someone would have asked me what is Diwali, maybe I would have answered that it is a day for which I buy new clothes, a day for which a new market is set up in my village, which I visit multiple times. A day on which I light so many firecrackers that even the neighbouring aunty, who otherwise found me most adorable, starts hating me. A day on which we light Diyas and go to the temple, a day on which my mom cooks for hours, a day on which all the employees of my papa’s shop come for dinner, a day on which we can’t locate dogs in our colony (I always wondered where did they go), and so on….. But today, if someone asked me what is Diwali? I would say a day on which I am with my family.
When I informed her about having got no holiday, my grandmother had asked me what kind of education was I taking? And I had replied, “This is the way it is, nowadays.” But today, even I don’t know what exactly is this way! A few days ago, one of my friends had lost her grandmother and she couldn’t go and see her grandmother for one last time before the funeral. She had asked me, “What’s the use of the world becoming faster and people saying it has come closer, when I can’t even go and see her?” I had told her, “ It’s all about trade off that we have made.”
She replied while wiping her tears, “Indeed. My friends doing business always tell me that I am living a tension free life, but they would never understand its cost!”
Same was the case with another of my friend who had to unwillingly part ways with his first and only love. The reason being the different lifestyles that they had to live were incompatible. One was MBA and the other was in the technical field, and both had their own fledgling ambitions.
One of my friends even had posted this on social media: “Score is 1/26, not at home on Diwali.”
I wanted to comment, “Now that you have chosen this side of the trade off, it’s surely gonna increase.”