Today, as I look back into my childhood years, Deepawali (Diwali) was always a fun affair. We used to head to grandpa’s place in Pangala every year, and celebrate Deepawali in the company of cousins and other relatives. It was a big thing from a child’s perspective. Grandpa’s verandah (and our cricket pitch) would be the location where we played with fireworks and crackers. It was a village setting: bustling with celebration in tiny areas, but yet peaceful. It was in contrast with the Diwali that I got to indulge in Bangalore as I grew older. Too many people, too much of noise, and too much of pollution in the air. As I grew older, I began to dislike taking part in it.
Looking back, another realization hits me hard. I only have memories of Deepawali, but no photographs…
Circa 2010 AD, Arnav (my nephew) is at our home and it is Deepawali again. At least, let his Deepawali be documented in frames for him to look back and cherish the memories from his growing-up years. With that thought, I picked up my camera on a holiday and went about photographing things that I loved. But, it was an anti climax!
Arnav didn’t seem to enjoy the noise on the streets. He retreated, with rest of the family, back into the safety of our apartment. I was left stranded amidst strangers and the noise that I have grown to dislike. Even I withdrew from the scene in few minutes. And I went about searching for things that spoke to me about the festival and that I could relate with. In tranquil locations, not far from the epicenter of pollution, I did find elements that spoke of Deepawali in a language I could related to…
And then I said, Happy Deepawali everyone.
Hope you have a great year.
P.S: I love Deepawali, but not the way most of us celebrate it.