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Diwali: A Big Uniting Factor With Family, Friends, Relatives, Neighbors and Nation

By Jaideep Khanduja @PebbleInWaters
The word Diwali brings in mind so many things - get together, sweets, crackers, greetings, love, happiness, visiting neighbors and relatives, worshiping Goddess Lakshmi, Celebrating the home coming of hero of biggest epic of India - Lord Rama - after fourteen years... For years these values and feelings have embossed in our hearts and minds. Diwali is a festival when we forget any kind of differences in our families and relatives and ensure to meet, greet and celebrate this festival - full of lights - with all. Diwali also is a superb festival that does not differentiate between caste, religion and status. Every Indian - whether poor or rich, whether belonging to any caste or religion - participates in this grand festival in one way or the other. Diwali is not only celebrated in India but also in all the countries, by every Indian residing there, with their friends and family.

Diwali and my Childhood
I don't remember my first we years of celebration of Diwali but clearly remember how Grandma used to give me knowledge about culture and festivals of our country. I remember my maternal uncle (brother of my mother) who used to get me a big packet of crackers to celebrate my Diwali. How I used to get excited to get an additional volume of crackers besides my own, bought a day before thereby doubling my possession and enjoyment. I was and am still fond of sweets (Mithais) right since my childhood.
We all in the family used to have a mission of buying sweets and gifts for various relatives and family members. Since we are a small family, Daddy, Mummy, and we three siblings, there was no question in going separately. We all used to go together to all relatives and family places. At times, to save time and energies, Dad would decide to go alone to some distant relative's place so as to avoid time, hassles and energies of all four of us. But at that time, I would be a force, even during my childhood to take a call whether I would accompany him or not depending on my own parameters.
And on Diwali Day we used to have return visits of relatives, other family members, and neighbors. At night we all used to enjoy outside in open cracking and enjoying with the various noises, colors and outcomes. Dad always used to teach me to be careful while enjoying crackers so that it does not harm anyone, and never go out of extent in terms of creating noise or going late night that creates discomfort among others around in their homes. Diwali Puja used to be a regular feature at home and everyone had a belief that when we sleep in the night, we would have Goddess Lakshmi visited our home and blessed us with more wealth. My Diwali has been fabulous, every year, giving a new meaning to me, internally and eternally.
Meaning of Diwali During all these Years:
Diwali was sheer enjoyment, meeting friends, relatives, neighbors; during my childhood. But it has strengthened my soul and heart with all years passing and with every Diwali celebrated.


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