I received a text last evening. Someone was curious as to why I hadn’t written much lately.
My first reaction to her message was a smile. I was happy that someone missed my writing strong enough to text me about it. I joked about it and told her that my processor is slow. I thought its best to leave it at that note. To tell her the whole story over a what’s app message seemed an uphill task.
But I can share it now. Long post Alert!!!!
Last year had been tough specially for people like us staying in the Metropolitan cities. Spending months within the confines of a small apartment was depressing specially for the kids. Covid-19 had hit my building hard and as a result my elder one’s birthday was quite a quiet affair last year. Just me and my two girls. A festival like Diwali was celebrated in a similar fashion. No one visited us and we visited no one. My patience ran out after that. I packed my bags and came home. We celebrated my younger one’s birthday amidst other family members and it was then, that I saw the heart break in my elder one’s eyes.
She has prayed hard the whole year for a birthday party.
The Covid-19 cases are at an all-time low and that’s why this time, I decided to fly home to celebrate my elder one’s birthday, Diwali, and New year with my family, based in Uttarakhand.
To say that I have been crazy busy in the last few days would be an understatement.
The last-minute packing and running around, hunting for Diwali gifts for everyone back at home, did take up quite a bit of my time and energy. Once I reached home, I put aside the unpacking part and jumped straight into organizing my elder one’s 7th birthday party. I only had two days for preparation. Organizing a party wasn’t the tough part. There was one request of hers that kind of made things tough. She wanted a DIY Piñata. DIY- DO IT YOURSELF!!! She complained that I don’t spend quality time with her and that we can sit together and make one. I fell for the bait.
She tried to chip in but eventually got distracted by her cousins and ran away for free play. My mother tried to contribute but even she fell asleep halfway. It took me one whole afternoon and evening to get the Piñata ready. Basically, one whole day out of two, went into making a Unicorn Piñata. I bore the brunt. I had a severe back spasm that night. Cut to the birthday party. I spent the whole day running around with an aching back to get the party rolling. Huffing and puffing, the party ended on a hearty note as I could see my girl smiling.
The next day was Diwali. The last time I celebrated Diwali with my family was in 2016. For some odd reason I feel, the way festivals in small towns are celebrated is very endearing. I had missed it tremendously all these years, to let this opportunity go in vain. Even though the loss of a close relative due to Covid had robbed us of the festive fervor, we did have a hearty get together. We celebrated all the days of the festival without the lights outside but with a lot of light on the inside.
As the Diwali spirit bade us farewell, we welcomed new guests in our family. Ours is a close-knit family. And we welcomed two cuddly little baby boys, born to my cousins this month. The whole family is ecstatic currently and obviously there is absolute mayhem as well.
To add on to this commotion are my two hyperactive girls. They are habituated to staying in a two-bedroom flat of a city. Here they get to run around the farm chasing goats and hens. And I am running behind them most of the time.
All my cousins stay at an arms distance, and that has immensely helped me in staying fit. Just yesterday I had to make 3 fleeting and frantic visits courtesy my younger one. She walked into their home with one pair of slippers and came back barefooted. Then she wore another set of floaters and left them too at their place, returning barefooted. It is a no brainer that she did the same with another pair of shoes. My children clearly find their mother running around like a madwoman, very amusing!
As I said earlier, my processor is slow. Once something strikes me, I find it difficult to jot it down immediately. The thought/ story stays with me for quite a few days before it actually sees the light of the day. For some reason I like to hold on to my thoughts and observe them.
This time the reason was my family.
I wanted to do the running around and handpicking of gifts for my family. For each one of them. Gifts are a way of communicating to the other person that they hold a special place in your heart, after all.
I wanted to make that Piñata for my girl and not buy some fancy one. The joy of making always beats the joy of buying a readymade one. Even though we forgot about the Piñata when the party was at its peak, when we did burst it open, the happiness on my child’s face was priceless. It was worth all the pain!
I wanted to feel the warmth of loved ones around during Diwali. I have celebrated too many alone. To be able to live amongst your own people is as lucky as it can get. Staying alone in a big city has made me realize that.
I wanted to run behind my children and catch them and fall on the ground laughing and holding on to each other. The sky above is clear here and we can run barefoot on the grass underneath. I would be a fool to let go of the air in between. It’s fresh and it’s smells of freedom.
So, I run with my children. I laugh with my family. I gossip. I pick up arguments with them. I don’t just breathe. I live.
And that’s why I did not write much in the last few days. In fact, I have not written anything in the last fortnight. It wasn’t a conscious decision to do so. It was an organic space that my mind sort of settled into. I have never been an obsessive-compulsive writer. Not that it’s wrong. It’s great according to me if you have something to write about every morning; if there is a little something to offer to the world every time the sun rises.
But sometimes living in the moment is important. It’s important to pick up the phone and click a picture and just leave it at that. It’s important to not click a picture, sometimes. Not everything needs to be on social media. Sometimes it’s important to wake up with the rising sun and just sit. Not all sunrises need to be marked with a pen in our hand, one that shall change the way the world thinks. Some sunrises can also be about long walks or the laughter of loved ones over several hot cups of tea or nothing at all.
I hope you celebrated this festival season with your family and friends and not social media. I hope this pandemic did teach you that there is always more to life than what is apparent.
PICTURE CREDITS : PIXABAY