Diwali is supposed to make one nostalgic, and homesick. Sadly, it doesn't do anything for me. Not any more. Have been away from home for far too long. Nine years is a long time. In any case, the hostel Diwalis can hardly be counted as proper celebrations. We walked up and down in our new clothes, jumped and danced around a little bit, and then went back to our rooms to gossip about the warden. Oh and we visited our local guardians. But, that wasn't really home.
For me, Diwali is supposed to signal the onset of winter. If there is anything I miss, it's the crispness of Diwali air. The chill you feel after you have finished bursting your stash of fire-crackers and have settled to see those black tablets conjure up long snakes. Yes, the ones that burn their way out of fire.
But I don't feel a strong wish-I-was-in-India sentiment anymore. I am fine here. Here is where I want to be.
Maybe I really have moved on. Maybe there is no going back. I can only visit, but I can't lead my life here thinking about how much it was better back there. Because even if I go back, it won't be the same. I think the harshness of it struck me when I went back home after the first semester, and I realized that time hadn't stood still. Things hadn't waited for me to come back and continue from where I had left them. Ma had found use for the cupboard that once belonged to me - she had stuffed linen in there.
Anyway, I have cooked up my own ritual for Diwali here - I wear a sari, go to the temple and pray. And pray hard.
Here's wishing all the five devoted readers of this blog a very Happy Diwali.