The Diwali Nostalgia

PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali film

There are only a few celebrations which survive on my nostalgia list, and among them the strongest surely might be Onam for all Keralites, but the brightest has indeed been Diwali or Deepavali as we call it here. This festival of lights have always given me hope throughout my life with its message that levitated above all despair to push it down, and reign supreme on that day which was another wonderful one. All the photos shared in this post are from my collection of snaps related to 2011 Diwali celebrations at our apartments.

As we used to live in an apartment building, the celebrations always brought us together and kept us interested. We have now changed our home, and the need for such meaningful celebrations was disappearing quickly from the minds of our new generation as well as the older generation which cared less. But there was always that time when the celebrations where at full power, and among them were the days of Onam, Diwali, Christmas and New Year – they had a certain beauty about it.

Let the light go on (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Let the light go on (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Among these celebrations, Diwali always maintained its separate identity. It was celebrated without any hesitation and no discussion was needed about how it was going to go. Every other celebration needed planning, but this one was just done. It was a spontaneous thing which we kids and youngsters took over and celebrated without thinking a lot about it. We decorated the place and arranged the lights along with a few candles as a few of us took the opportunity to buy extra crackers and the fireworks.

The sweets were brought by a few people who volunteered, along with our apartment’s association which bought the most of the same as well as sponsored those fireworks and crackers which would be brought by a few of us. I have always been scared of the crackers and fireworks, but this was one particular moment of the year when I found that lost courage and stood there praying and believing that it would all be just awesome and nothing else on the festival of lights.

One of the better shots I have on a Diwali night (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

One of the better shots I have on a Diwali night (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

There are not many things that we have loved more than the Deepavali sweets which we had on those days, and some of our friends from the other states contributed with even better ones. There would also be the speech about the triumph of good over evil along with how we should care for others society and related stuff from the elders, and also a few songs which contribute to the day. There would be little kids and the old people alike who would wish to sing and contribute to the occasion.

We always took the special care about those lamps which found the best of us, and taking snaps with the same remained a priceless activity. We kids and youngsters always took the opportunity to enjoy the same a little bit more with exchanging gifts and wandering around the Sivarathri Manappuram which would also have its own beautiful arrangement for the festival, and then finishing off the day with porottas and milk shake; in my case with that unavoidable tea. It was a celebration which brought us together.

And there remains the fireworks (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

And there remains the fireworks (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Those days are gone now though, with the shifting of the home, and those friends who have already been lost to the extremely busy and barbaric world, with three of them who passed away in the last few years, and they have left that void which can never be filled, especially Jean Mathew who succumbed to brain tumor last year. There have been no Diwali without him capturing the essence of the festival with his camera, and he will be missed, every time there is Diwali or any other festival anywhere. The story of his fight against the disease and his faith has always brought hope and belief in our lives like the festival of Diwali itself.

This blog post was written as a part of the Indiblogger Happy Hour Campaign on DIWALI – A TIME FOR FAMILY! See more at: https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/

TeNy

Escape from a Lost Planet

There is something about not being an Aluvaite. There is not much about leaving from a land plagued by potholes and disturbed by the Metro construction. It just adds to that harthal which devastates the state from where there is no escape. But forgetting all the troubles which are not really the part of Aluva alone, and missing being part of the same place is another thing. Forgetting having no more friends in the lands and no more of anyone to talk is rather the product of that engineering experiment to which our students have agreed, the result being more engineers than coconuts and all of them exported to Bangalore or Chennai.

The river Periyar which covers most of the town (taken on my DSC-W310)

The river Periyar which covers most of the town (taken on my DSC-W310)

The first part of not being an Aluvaite is not being UCean, talked about here : (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/uc-as-in-you-see-and-mgu/). Not being part of the college had already happened earlier, but being not at Aluva adds more distance. Union Christian College, Alwaye comes as part of the town and it has been defined as one of the few things that define the muncipality, along with the Federal Bank, Sivarathri Manappuram and the Marthanda Varma Bridge. Therefore, UC College is the first thing to missed while leaving Aluva. For Sivarathri, we can always come here, and not travelling through the bridge is actually a boon considering the potholes – for Federal Bank, I am still a customer 😀

St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary & the church (DSC-W180)

St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary & the church (DSC-W180)

The Aluvaite effect is kind of lessened when you are living in a flat – the feeling of living in a house being taken away for about fourteen years, and never in between those years getting that opportunity to feel really at a house except for may be at some of those tourst destinations. When you live somewhere with rules against playing cricket and football, plus the need to stop any kind of entertainment at 9PM, it gives the feeling of being in a totalitarian state which stretches its arms towards further control. There might be celebrations for Onam and New Year, but who cares anymore?

Siva Temple & Aluva Manappuram (DSC-W310)

Siva Temple & Aluva Manappuram (DSC-W310)

Everyone wanted to play cricket and football and the replacement is badminton. But would the kids want to play that? No. Are there any old people who wish to play it? No. Can we ask any of the working people to come and play before 9PM? No, they won’t even reach home at that time. What is this other than an intelligent plot to stop people from having fun along with some exercise? Is it because the fascists can’t do that, the kids shouldn’t also do that? Should they just play the computer games and study during the rest of the time? Yes, create a video game playing, internet addicted future generation.

St. Xavier's Church in the centre of the town (DSC-W310)

St. Xavier’s Church in the centre of the town (DSC-W310)

Now, what were these games for us? Were they just about doing something because we had lots of time? No, it was a place for socializing; for they were not just games. I have met more people while indulging in sports rather than being in a boring meeting talking about why we are so awesome and planning for some boring fake celebrations which are conducted. Nobody really cares about this dumb repetition every year, and some people just act as if they do. There is no real effort put into it, and we have a new generation not caring about the same, because it is what some people want, and youth wants no part of it.

UCC. The wonder that is a college (GT-B7722)

UCC. The wonder that is a college (GT-B7722)

It is clear that most of the people don’t know anybody, even their own neighbours. We all know that person who gets out of the nearby door and comes back in. But who on the Earth are these people? Did they drop right out of hell last day with the expression that says “move out of the way or I will deliver you a clothesline”. So many families; we know a lot of them when we are a small group, but as the gang increases in number and diversifies, we ends up knowing none. There was only one cat that cared, but it got run over by a car.

Marthanda Varma Bridge. Defining Aluva (DSC-W310)

Marthanda Varma Bridge. Defining Aluva (DSC-W310)

Can we be confident about the fact that it will be any better at a new place? No and it can be even worse, but we will live in a house, and when we are bored, we can always take care of a garden, and there won’t be the need to listen to that grilling which happens every day at some random rich guy’s flat who does that too often. What are you building? A Taj Mahal – Victoria Memorial hybrid? Who cares about this bloody bourgeoisie who thinks that money can get them anything; but no, not respect, unless you live like you deserve it. I see that most of the good people have moved or are going to move from our neighborhood – I will miss many good things about Aluva and my best friends were indeed from here, but add me to the list.

Chowara St. Mary's Church; a beauty (DSC-W310)

Chowara St. Mary’s Church; a beauty (DSC-W310)

TeNy