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This has been my first Deepavali back home with parents in several years! I was looking forward to a ‘typical’ festival with parents. But I seem to remember things slightly differently, celebrating as a child as opposed to celebrating as a 25 year old. Here’s a blow by blow:

4 AM

Child: Creep out of bed for the sixth time in an hour, hoping one of your parents wakes up, because you have to be the first to light fireworks in the neighborhood on Deepavali day.

Adult: Snore in deep REM sleep.


5 AM

Child: Successfully wake household up with peals of excitement and stress about winning firework-contest, be sent off for oil-bath after a hurried oil-head massage and tiny oil spills in the kitchen.

Adult: Indignantly shut off your alarm, creep out of bed to see if anybody is awake, consider turning off your parents’ alarm.


6 AM

Child: Jump about victoriously after winning the firework contest.  

Adult: Resignedly leave bed to check if it is raining and Deepavali can be postponed.


6:30 AM

Child: Call out loudly to all friends in the neighborhood who have not turned up for the morning session of firework-lighting, be a general menace.

Adult: Hate the children making noise downstairs; drag self to wash hair after what feels like an hour of figuring out the prayer rituals.


7 AM

Child: Be forcefully extracted from playground (now transformed into fireworks zone) for prayer. Pray for Deepavali plans to be executed successfully.

Adult:: Spend entire prayer being thankful and also guilty about all the extended family you have not visited. Be glad to finally be home for a festival.



Child: Be forcefully fed Deepavali ‘Lehyam’, to aid digestion of upcoming culinary over-indulgence.

Adult: Eat copious amounts of lehyam. Make/bustle around breakfast, sipping coffee and eating sweets.



Child: Give up on fireworks after complete onset of sunshine, walk drudgingly back home, planning upcoming sweet indulgence. 

Adult: Give up on sneaking in a nap between breakfast and visiting/speaking with relatives, suffer mild to moderate acid reflex from eating too much fat in the first 2 hours of your day


11 AM

Child: Have sweets forcefully taken away from you for want of actually eating lunch. Describe new clothes in detail to extended family over the phone.

Adult: Have long one-sided conversations about the importance of your marriage with extended family, suffer moderate to extreme guilt about all the people you’ve just promised to visit. Try to soothe acid reflux with light buttermilk.



Large Lunch


2 PM

Child: Be forced to take a nap so your parents can watch TV in peace before the mayhem of the evening begins.

Adult: Force yourself to stay awake while visitors talk to you about the importance of marriage in your life.



Child: Drag firework-supervising parent to organize and plan firework session.

Adult: Reluctantly agree to supervise the children in your neighbourhood as a favour to neighbours. Prepare for this by drinking tea and eating more sweets.


6pm- 9:30  PM

Child: Happy Deepavali! Happy Deepavali! CRACK BANG BANG

Adult: NOT NEAR THAT CAR! Please don’t run with sparklers in your hand. Please stop playing with fire!

No, we shall not make a box with fireworks and set it on fire to see what happens. STOP RUNNING WITH SPARKLERS IN YOUR HANDS!


How was your Deepavali?


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