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The day after diwali

The day after diwali
Feeling nostalgic, for the post diwali mornings from years ago,,,
 
 
The festivities, even if they were muted, how now died down.
When I was a child (actually, when I didn’t pretend to have to be all grown up, like now), the day after Diwali was one of my favorite days.
The feeling of togetherness would linger.
The anticipation of the festival and the bustle of the day over, the stillness would be calming.
The welcome silence that slips in, once the fans are switched off, was not punctuated by the sounds of the air purifier like it is now.
The nip would be turning into a chill; this overbearing stuffiness of smog was unheard of; as was the choky haze of distant fires.
 
 
Instead of throwing away reams of packaging material, I would be tucking away the Diwali kharchi money received form grandparents and other elders, planning how to spend it
Waking up late and dawdling before the very short school break got over, I would hang on the memories of the week gone by.
Memories like the pre festival excitement of the house buzzing with visitors, many gifts on their cycle of karma from one house to another, writing our names in the air with phuljaris, waiting eagerly after helping out with the Diwali puja arrangements, to meet friends for the celebrations...
 
 
These were the moments we would wait an entire year for. And then, savour for just a few days more…
The calm and mindful post festival mood now seems to be nudged away by the need to clear up and get back into usual life mode.
Now, festivals come with a bang, and the joy seems to be short lived.
Even a festival has its own limited space in our calendar.
 
Feeling the festival after that date is gone seems to be an indulgence.
The advertisements from last week extolling us to buy, gift and consume have died down.
The AQI reading says severe
The whatsapp notifications add upto 456 unread messages, gifs and stickers; which I will largely ignore
 
I will try and hang on, to memories of a time long gone by; when life was simpler, the connections deeper, and the air much cleaner…

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