Diwali is that time of the year when I miss India the most. It is that one festival when my house would be buzzing with excitement and activities. Those lovely memories are still afresh in my mind and I only need to close my eyes to revisit them. I always feel an overpowering sense of nostalgia around this time. In India, Diwali is when everyone gets together and there is a palpable sense of joy in the air. We have been celebrating our last few Diwalis with the Indian community in Sydney. We get together and revel in the festivities but Indian Diwali is hard to recreate. I miss the decorated streets, joyful atmosphere, mithai stalls that would spring out of nowhere, and helping mom to prepare sweets and snacks.
Diwali in India meant excitement and buzz. Buying new clothes, exchanging gifts with relatives, decorating the house with diyas and rangoli; the list of tasks would be endless. Every family member would participate to make that year’s Diwali the best one. How can I forget the almost maniacal cleaning of the house! Every family member would join in to make the house spotless. Time after school would be spent in cleaning whitewash spots off the floor. After all, Goddess Lakshmi would visit only the cleanest houses.
Diwali signifies the onset of new beginnings. Just as the city of Ayodhya rejoiced in the return of good times with Lord Ram, we too get filled with hope of better times ahead. What we often forget is that better times deserve better versions of us. It is my earnest belief that we can never stop growing and rediscovering ourselves. Last weekend I was discussing with a friend about the simple days of our past. We had lesser means but were much happier. Our relationships were deeper and our laughter was more real. These days our gadgets and social media have consumed us. We have detached ourselves from things of real value. Sometimes, I yearn to revisit those times and bring back simplicity and belongingness to the present.
What better time to start this than Diwali! I have decided to do something different this time and declutter my mind and being other than my home. I implore you to come and join me on this journey.
Let’s not live life on a weekend-to-weekend basis. Let’s break this monotony and break free. Let’s move to a more holistic life and value the real things.
Here are a few ideas that can help us achieve this.
We often complain about not getting enough time but we spend hours scrolling mindlessly through Facebook or Instagram. Weekends are booked for binge-watching that new series on Netflix. As impossible as it may seem, let’s try to fix our hours we spend on social med. As we progress, we can plan to cut off completely one day in a week.
Connect with people
Let’s spend some time in calling and chatting with our friends and family. My friends were my lifeline once. I started distancing myself behind the mask of responsibilities. Watsapp has reduced those once-cherished relationships to just an array of texts and emojis. I am sure you too have such people in your life for whom you will always mean good. Let’s reignite our bond with them and invest in building real relationships.
I want to revisit my love for gardening and painting. These were the activities that would give me satisfaction and enhance my self-esteem. I have realised it is important to channelise my creative energies for a more fulfilling life. For most of us, the only roadblock is mental where we have to push ourselves to actually do it. I intend to break this roadblock and give meaning to my life beyond office and home. Hobbies are also a proven way to reduce stress. Let’s put our efforts in learning something new or revisit those long lost hobbies.
Soak in real experiences
I want to spend more time outdoors to seek inspiration. I want to travel more and fill my heart with new experiences. I want to help more to make my existence more meaningful. I want to read more to be able to tell stories to my grandchildren. I want to be a real person instead of an unknown being behind a username. Let’s do whatever we can to make this life more meaningful and express our gratitude.