October’s one month I love!! While world’s been thinking about stock markets , 20-20 matches and suicide blasts in Pakistan, I’ve been all floating in a nostalgic feeling that probably evey October manages to invoke in me these few years!!
I fondly remember many of my Diwali Vacations and I confess I would prefer Diwali vacations more than the summer vacations, simply because all my friends and cousins would visit their native places in April-May while I had no native place to go to. In Diwali, mostly everybody would be here, so every Diwali was always full of fun! October would bring with it the term end exams and the best part of these exams used to be daydreaming that I’d indulge in quite a bit about what I might do during the vacations!! I remember sitting in the living room trying to memorize some historic dates and events and instead reeling in the smell of Diwali Namkeen that my Mum and Grandmother would be preparing! Or the Navratri days…. we have been installing the “Ghats” -(“Ghatasthapana”) for many years now and I remember how beautiful all those garlands would look and what fun it was making them… I do make them even now, but back then there was the eagerness stemming from the wish to bypass studies and hence it was all the more enjoyable 🙂 My birthday falls on same day according to the Hindu calender and so it was all the more fun receiving gifts both the times….Then there used to be fun in sneaking into kitchen and tasting all those elaborate prasads and sweets that we were not supposted to taste before offering to the Goddess. 10 days and 10 different home made sweet dishes! So my Mum thus occupied would hardly notice how much I am (not) studying. On the 9th evening of Navaratri we would visit major Navaratri Mandals in town and would return past 12.00 am. So there was some excitement about being able to stay up so late, which would be then boasted amongst other kids!!!
I remember once too engrossed in my vacation plans when I was in 6th, I had studied General Science and gone to school, only to realise that it was my nemesis – The Maths Paper and remember that I kept on feeling unleasy throughout the vacation whenever I’d remember my blunder…though all that garland making and pretence of praying the Goddess hadnt gone waste as I discovered after schools reopened that somehow I had managed to pass!!
Then there used to be another day to look forward to: Kojagiri Poornima, when we’d be allowed to stay up a bit late, with some family friends – namely cousins coming in for a small get-together and we could go to the terrace to watch the moon and tell each other ghost stories.
Diwali used to be total joy with all those failed attempts at drawing rangoli and building”killas”, getting to burst crackers – being able to watch the rockets that my eldest cousin would burst, visiting my Aunt’s villa and waking up early at 5.30 there to pluck bright marigolds and wildflowers from the bushes!! Of couse, eating the namkeens non stop!
There used to be tremendous homework of writing some tables of 23-24-26-27 or such numbers about 50 times, writing some essays etc which I would never finish of course during the vacation…so all in all, that used to be the ONLY problem in our lives that time!
Sometimes I think its such a shame not to be able to do anything like that in reckless abandon of all the grown-up type responsibilities, just skip work and do such things… I suppose that is the only reason why almost everyone always misses childhood!!