Celebrating festivals or praying through poojas is really not my cup of tea because I like my prayers simple and direct. I find it more distracting to my concentration when there are too many rituals involved. Also, I am not able to understand their significance in relating directly to God. Of course, different people have different ways of connecting to God and I respect that.
Diwali is a festival that is celebrated grandly in North India. Ever since I came to Delhi, I have been a part of it too though not in the conventional sense. This year, as my son Jyotiraditya seemed to crave for real celebration, we did a couple of things that excited him and thrilled us to see his joy.
1. We got the home decorated with colorful lights. My son was so thrilled that he wouldn't move from the door and wanted the lights to go on twinkling throughout the night.
2. We got Cadbury chocolate packs for his friends in the society where we live. The independent guy that he is, he went and gave it to each of his friends.
3. We always light beautiful diyas for Diwali but this time, we got him to help us choose the diyas and also be part of helping us while we lit it. That got his total involvement and yes, a little bit of creative thinking about where to place the flower shaped diya and where to place the urn shaped ones:)
Since we believe that firecrackers are fun but harmful for the environment, we didn't get him that. However, our neighbors shared some with him and he loved it so much that it got me thinking whether I should deny that joy to him when all others kids seemed to be enjoying with firecrackers.
However, I still feel that while it is fun, there is still an apprehension about supporting something that is so harmful for the environment. All said and done, we had a happy Diwali and hope that you did too, with your friends and loved ones.