This post is written by Neha Tambe as part of the 6th anniversary celebration of my blog.
This Diwali I earned peace and perspective, with my quiet Diwali
Diwali for me was always associated with noise, people, crackers, lights and some pattern in chaos. It started with all the cleaning and the stress associated with it. Buying new clothes and gifts for relatives is also no easy task. Decorating the house is another mammoth task to be achieved while following all the daily rituals. This coupled with children’s exams and our work, the preparations are usually more stressed than fun. But I only knew this way of celebrating Diwali and I assumed that is how it is and enjoyed the process. But this year, changed my perspective towards the celebration of the festival Diwali.
This year, was a first on various accounts
I Did Not Clean
The standard ritual that I had grown up with was put aside this year. I hired help and got done with the cleaning bit. It was really refreshing. I could get done with things quickly. The hired help were professional, so they knew their job and hence no stress at all. So over all the job done was thorough, quick and efficient management of time.
I did not decorate the house
This year, part of my family was travelling and hence wasn’t going to be around to celebrate Diwali. So instead of decorating the home and being alone or with only part of the family, we decided to ditch the decoration part and travel. My kid had very limited holidays so we wanted to go someplace where there is limited travel and easy connectivity. We zeroed in on Kerala.
Diwali without lights and crackers
As we were travelling in Kerala, it was anti-climactic. While most cities around India are brightly lit for Diwali and there are loads of crackers everywhere. It was life as usual in Kerala. Even the educational institutes were working on Laxmi Pooja Day.
What I gained
Many of the places that we went or traveled through were small towns and there were no bright lights or crackers. The morning air was fresh and crisp, unlike the smog filled city air. The peaceful environs helped me hear my thoughts. We could actually sit out in the balcony and see the million stars.
This holiday was family time. We chose to travel with group tours, so there was not much to do except follow their plan. It meant no stress while planning; not being ready for contingencies, not worrying about food or other mundane stress that usually comes with traveling with kids. It helped me stay focused on my family time.
As this was a group tour, there were other tourists with us. We traveled together in the bus and me and my family met some wonderful people. Apart from sharing of thoughts, we learned new facets about each other. We even had fun like playing antakshari, word building, quizzes on the bus. This showed my kids different ways of having fun without gadgets. The group tour organizers had also arranged a fun evening, where we played some more games, did a small laxmi pooja and shared snacks.
We saw quite a few museums and my children were introduced to a lot of new information and knowledge. My daughter was spell bound by Raja Ravi Verma’s paintings and my son couldn’t get enough of the ivory and wood carvings. My personal favorite was a coin from 1st century. We even saw the biggest cooking pot in the world, registered in the Limca Book of records!
We had different kind of fun. We enjoyed an elephant ride and my kids we were surprised when the mahout said the elephant was a baby at 25 years of age! We enjoyed a quiet ride on a houseboat. Walking through the spice gardens we saw the miracle called nature at work. Many species of plants and ‘Did you know’ later, we came out grateful for the abundance that nature has to offer. Took a spin in a boat and saw some migratory birds.
All in all, this was the quietest Diwali that I have ever celebrated. It was also one of the most enriching experiences. This experience just reinforced by belief in the thought “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”
About Neha –
Neha is a Digital Marketer, mom blogger and a lover of suspense fiction. She blogs at www.nehatambe.com and focuses on Digital Marketing tips, parenting journey and short stories.
Read all posts from the 6th anniversary celebration of the blog – #6YrsOfHappiness