Meera was working in the US for the past 3 years. Every year she made sure that for Diwali she would go home. But this year was different. There was a crucial client deadline and Meera’s leave was not sanctioned.
With heavy heart she entered the office on the Diwali day not in a mood at all to sit and work while rest of India celebrates the biggest Indian festival. As she was trying to write the code for the application, her mind drifted away to all the Diwali memories right from her childhood. She remembered the day when they were bursting crackers and rockets. She was being supervised by her dad and both of them together were bursting crackers. She used to run like a mad dog once the cracker was lit and used to keep her hands on her ears till the entire crackers finished bursting. Her dad left her alone for a moment to get more flower pots. Something stirred within Meera then and she tried to try bursting crackers on her own. In all that commotion, the match stick fell on her hand and she cried in pain. Her dad came running then and instead of being angry with her, he just hugged her tightly and took her home for first aid. Meera learnt her lesson that day and since then she doesn’t take rash decisions.
Just then her phone rang and she was startled in between her memory walk. It was her colleague who informed her that they were waiting for her in the conference room for the status meeting. In the thought trail, she had completely forgotten about the meeting. She rushed in the conference room, apologized for being late and took her seat in the back.
The status meeting also could not hold on to her attention and she went again on another memory ride. This time it was the Diwali vacation she spent with her grandparents, uncles, aunts and a whole bunch of cousins at their native place – a small village in Maharashtra. It was the morning of snacks and continuous chit chat with all the aunties feeding everyone to the brim. Laughter was spread everywhere and the whole house was beaming with health and happiness. It was a day Meera will never forget!
The meeting got over and someone tapped on Meera’s shoulder to bring her back to reality. Her friend Sheena asked her if anything was wrong. Tugging the homesickness away, she smiled and assured Sheena that everything was fine. As she was walking back to her cubicle, she saw a big box sitting on her work desk. She went over the box and looked at the address label. She could not decipher from where it had come but there was a paper within the address sheet. She took out the paper and her eyes moistened as she read the words –
As we put up the lantern this year for Diwali, we missed your steady hands which perfectly hung the lantern in the balcony. As Maa was making chakli for Diwali, we missed your rushing into the kitchen shouting, “I can’t wait any longer Maa. The smell is heavenly. I have to take a bite.” You always burnt your tongue trying to eat the hot chakli which was just out of the frying oil. As we lit the diyas outside the house, we missed the elaborate rangoli you used to make at the front door.
We just can’t imagine a Diwali with you not around. Sending you crunchy Maa’s chaklis and some mouth watering sweets along with diyas and lantern. Let the Diwali zeal be there with you there too! Celebrate a Diwali Away from Home and Yet Closer to Home 🙂
Baba and Maa