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Celebration, as per dictionary is defined as a joyous diversion from the mundane lifestyle of a group of person, who gather to share the happy occasion.
And as I started writing on this topic, my memory took me back down the lanes of memory, specifically about 15 years back.
It was that time, when I had just started college and we were staying in Delhi.
The hosue we stayed in, on one side of the house, another house was getting built. And the owners of this place had appointed a chowkidar on the premises, just to keep an eye on the premises. The chowkidar made a little "jhuggi" for himself there and lived there with his wife and 2 little kids.
On the other side of the our house was a big mansion style house. We never interacted with the residents of that house but had heard stories from sevaral neighbours that the owner was a big shot businessman, had a wife and 2 grown up kids and a mistress who stayed in the same house. His own family lived on the ground floor and the mistress lived on the top floor.
And my own family was going through a difficult phase then. My dad had a big loss in his business and therefore, there were no buisness souveniers or cards that went out with dad's name that year. Deepawali was also not a grand affair for all my brothers and sisters that year.
So, it was the day before deepawali and my mom was standing out on the "verendah". My mom has this habit of silently observing people and what they are doing, without actually interacting with them.
The chowkidar's family was pretty known to us. Often the wife would do small errands for my mom and my mom often used to pass over left over food and clothes we kids outgrew to her. On that particular day, my mom had given some of the sweets she had made for Deepawali to her too.
So, as the day started getting dark, the kids helped their mom put some candles around their jhuggi and decoaret it whatever little trinkets they had managed to gather. they had even made a little kandeel out of some colored papers and little sticks. Then they all went inside the jhuggi and did their pooja. (My mom could hear them singing and chanting)
When they were done with the rituals, chowkidar's wife started getting the choolha ready for evening dinner. Because the jhuggi was a small place, so they cooked outside.
She had made the dough for rotis, so her kids helped her make rotis, the chokidar got some onions and green chillis and the wife roasted some potatoes in the choolha after the rotis were done.
And the excitement of the kids, on having a family meal at the end of the day was clearly visible. So, then they all sat down and ate their dinner. And then the chowkidar's wife divided the sweets equally into 3 parts: 2 for the kids and one for her husband.
The kids then went ahead with whatever stock of fire crackers they had.
And as the chowkidar and his wife sat down to eat their sweets(the chowkidar shared his part with his wife) and watched their kids enjoying the fire crackers, the look of contentment and happiness on their face was priceless. As if, that was the only moment that mattered in their life.
This was the Diwali celebration for them.
And the my mom took a look on the other side of our house, to the big mansion.
It was glittering like a bride, from all the lights that had been put on it three days ago.
The owner was seen few minutes ago, all dressed up and leaving in his big black car.
The older kids in the house were also gone with their friends
The only one remaining in the house(it seemed like) were the 2 females, who were related to each other through one common factor but never spoke to each other.
The neighbours seemed to avoid talking to anyone in this family, so the house looked kind of deserted, despite all the lights and decorations.
When mom came inside, we all got together and started getting ready for the poojan. My sister had made a beautiful rangoli in the pooja room using henna, haldi and gulal.
My other sister had decorated the pooja spot using anything and everything she could find around the house.
Bhai helped papa to get everything needed for the poojan ready, including the diyas, roli chawal, dhoop, mithai, chandi ke sikke, lakshmi ganesh idols, papa's ledger book and some new currency notes.
We all sat together and did the poojan. Papa gave us all some gifts (which he did every year) and then we all sat down for dinner. Mom had planned the menu such that each one of us had a special favorite item there.
Exactly on the same day a year later, I was feeling really down since the situation had hardly changed at our end and didn't feel like doing anything for the preparation of the festival. That's when my mom narrated this whole incident to me and gave me this beautiful lesson which I remember till date:
"Celebration in life is not about having big things and big moments. It's all about being happy for what we have and who are with us at that moment. So learn to celebrate these special times for what you have today rather than looking for things and reasons to celebrate"
The lesson and what my mom observed that day remains in my heart and my mind till today.
So, don't ever let the celebration in your life fade away.
Have a great festival season and celebrations.