The grand festival of lights just passed us. After all the rush and enthusiasm, I now have the luxury to relax in the drawing room of my home in Ahmedabad. The time is almost 1am and I think I have the energy to pen down a few words before I fall asleep.

I love Diwali the most, among the many festivals that we celebrate here. There was a time I liked Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) more, a festival that is celebrated so grandiosely in Gujarat that it is difficult, that day, to spot the sky under a vast layer of kites. But the last time I was here for Uttarayan was when I was in class 11- I left home after that and it still remains a distant dream for me to be in town for Uttarayan. As far as Diwali is concerned, it is mandatory for me to be in Ahmedabad for at least a week and to help me keep this promise this year, my father booked my train ticket more than a couple of months ago and I, on my part, battled a (literally) huge storm of people at the Rajiv Chowk metro station and broke my right foot’s toenail in the process!

There was a time when delicacies, both at home and at guest’s, were a major reason to celebrate but I guess I have grown a little too old for that now! There is then the usual tradition to meet relatives from every nook and corner of the city, something that goes on for many days after Diwali. Moreover, you have to sit in the drawing room if a family is paying you a visit and there is nothing much you can do about it! Apart from that, houses are lit up with diyas and made-in-China electric lights, markets are overcrowded with people, a lot of time is devoted to cleaning houses and money is recklessly spent on apparels and food- this, however, is the best part I like about Diwali, the madness that grips the nation for five days!

There is, however, a problem that is widely ignored during the festivities. Only a couple of days ago, I saw many people on Twitter pledging their support for Green Diwali (or Eco Diwali) but then, I realized yesterday that these advocates belonged to a minority of our population. I did my bit, for the third consecutive year, this time but there is a lot that remains to be done.

It is almost 4am now (yes, I know 3 hours is too much for such a small post!) and I’d rather call it a day. Wishing you a very Happy Diwali!