Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Diwali to Remember-2






We last had a child at home on Diwali in 2006, when the youngest son came home from boarding school for a few days. That Diwali was memorable for our stupidity- he came home with his return train ticket, which he promptly handed to me for safe-keeping. We both looked at it, and forgot about it. On the Sunday afternoon he was to leave, we reach the station around three in the afternoon, well in time for the four something Rajdhani, only to discover that on Sunday it has a different route and leaves at one in the afternoon. We recovered whatever cash we could, and then headed straight for the airport. The ticket was booked on the SRE's phone (no, he didn't get mad at us- he's very sweet when you're already dying of guilt and feeling like a complete moron, and not making any excuses whatsoever. Yes, with him you can plead guilty and get off free!) and a photo was required, which I happened to have in my purse. Luckily the son had his school ID card with him. We had to find a place to photocopy the SRE's credit card. The eldest daughter was phoned, and asked to receive him earlier than expected. And no, I did not tell my parents when we finally got home- I would never have heard the last of it if I had!
Before that, we had been in Gummidipoondi, with no kids able to visit us in 2004 and 2005. This year the youngest kid is resident in Kolkata, and so we all felt festive. We put flowers and alpanas (water colours, not our traditional geru and khadiya) in various places. These are largely things that I grew up doing, and have become part of Diwali in our house. The son would like to continue with them in his own adulthood (I do hope his wife likes the idea - she may have more interesting traditions of her own.)
Our son had invited a number of his hostel friends over for Diwali dinner. The only problem was that we didn't know how many were actually turning up- the possible range was from four to fourteen! I decided to make lots of rajmah- the excess freezes and keeps well. The maid made a lot of parathis, which aren't bad even if they aren't piping hot. I decided to make the rice and raita once the kids were actually here. We did our puja, an important part of which is the SRE's annual review. The kids tease him about this unmercifully, but miss it all the same, and have even insisted on the annual review over the phone.
A couple of little kids from the building wandered in and charmed us totally. A hitherto unknown neighbour came following his daughter, and we felt very festive. Our son was trying to direct his friends to our place- I finally took over the phone, instructed the cabbie, and got them on track. They'd been taken for a ride, alright, but one that was not too long.
The final headcount was seven youngsters, the SRE and I.
Chatting, eating, card games. Lots of noise, arguments, discussions of rules. Dinner is assembled and finally served. Two youngsters want to get back to the hostel, as they have the first period next morning. We drive down to the corner, but no cab is vacant. We come home and put down the spare mattresses so that everyone has a bed to sleep on.
The SRE had insisted on buying some crackers, though the son is no longer keen on them, especially noisy ones, as he sees how much dogs suffer because of the noise. All the budding lawyers were very conscious of the environment and there was so much noise and smoke all around that we didn't even light a ritual sparkler.
The kids carry on and we sleep. I wake up the ones who have to go to college, while the rest are still fast asleep. They wake up around lunchtime, have brunch, and are out for a movie. Two more join them for the movie, one goes home, and we are seven for dinner. We think about going out for a meal, but the kids are all so busy playing cards again, that we decide to have daal-chaawal and salad, everyone's comfort food. (The SRE does not approve of arhar/tur daal. I make alu matar for him, which no one else finds particularly interesting). After two meals with rajmah, daal chaawal is most satisfying. The kitchen is cleared, and the kids invite us to play with them, but it's been a long long day......
We go to sleep, and wake up to find that the kids have pulled an all-nighter, with strange pizza-like concoctions (with bread) being made in the middle of the night. Two decide to leave bright and early, and get some work done. Three sleep in.
It's been great. Like old times, with the older kids. The youngest one is enjoying his 'official' adulthood. They'd gone to see 'Fashion', which is an adult movie. He was asked to show proof of age, and proudly pulled out his driver's licence. The guy says, 'Your age is not mentioned here.'
The son says, 'You can only get a driver's licence if you are eighteen.'

My dear youngest child, may your brand new adulthood bring you the very best of Life. May all your Diwalis be happy. You made this one very special for us. Thank you.

26 comments:

Maggie said...

What a sweet post! Sounds like a lovely day.

Mampi said...

Loved all the things you mentioned, and the note on which you wound up the post is really cute. We wish him, your other kids and you all a very happy time.
Tell the new adult he is totally smashingly intelligent.

eve's lungs said...

Aww he looks about 16- dont blame the guards at the movie hall :P

Monika said...

sweet post... happy diwali

Goofy Mumma said...

Such a beautifully written post, almost felt like I was enjoying all the festivities with you! Happy Diwali!

2 B's mommy said...

Such a lovely post ! awesome pics - the diyas all lined up look so beautiful.

Rohini said...

Great pics and a lovely Diwali day!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fantastic Diwali - and you sound like such a cool mom!

Happy Diwali!

M

churningthewordmill.wordpress.com said...

nice post dipali.. i liked the pics..especially the 3rd n 4th one...
hope u n ur family had a great diwali!
mandira

mumbaigirl said...

Happy Diwali! What a nice mum you are. WHY doesn't SRE like tur dal?

My dad claims its hard for him to digest. Me, I can't live without it.

DotThoughts said...

your house looks most, most amazing. very festive. wishing you all a very happy diwali and a prosperous, all-your-wishes-come-true new year!

Mystic Margarita said...

Your home looks so festive and beautiful - you know - like a home :) Happy Diwali to you and your wonderful family!

Trishna said...

wowww your diwali sounds like so much fun!! I wish I was there!!

Hip Grandma said...

Makes me wish that my children had never grown up.You've had a great time Dipali.I am glad for you. Happy Diwali.Will you believe if I said that I actually thought of you on Diwali day. I said to myself 'I've met Mallika and likewise may be I'll meet Dipali and sumana'

Usha said...

Caught up with 7 posts in one go and felt satisfied like the rajma chawal meal. The house looks lovely. There is so much joy when festivals are shared with others no? I am glad you had such a lovely diwali, dipali.

Sue said...

LOL at the train fiasco. Sounds like the time I gave my train ticked to be washed (it was in the pocket of my jeans).

Am so glad you had such a family Diwali.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Sounds like you had a heart-warming Diwali! May that light and joy always fill your heart!

dipali said...

@maggie: It was! Thanks.
@mampi: I'll tell him! Thank you for all the good wishes, Mampi.
@EL: I agree. But driving licenses aren't issued unless you are a legal adult!
@monika, goofy mumma, 2b's mommy, rohini, anon M: Thank you all!
@mandira: The third picture had last year's upside down diyas with a dab of white paint on them, arranged with the flowers! Glad you liked the pictures.
@mumbaigirl:Thank you kindly!
The SRE grew up eating 'moong dhuli daal', and though he has had to get used to arhar, living with me, he hasn't really developed a taste for it!
@dotthoughts, mystic margarita: Thanks, girls! Hope you have a great year too.
@trishna: I wish you were here too!
@hip grandma: I do hope we meet
sometime soon. When do you next
visit Kolkata?
@usha: I can see you've been busy recently! Would love to satisfy you with an actual rajmah-chawal meal!
@sue: It's such a releief to know that one is not alone in one's scattiness!
m4: Yes, it was lovely. Thanks for your good wishes- we really have to meet soon!

karmickids said...

I loved this post....kind of sent me into a flash forward to when the brat would be just about eligible for a driving license and I would be bribing all the RTO inspectors not to issue him one...

anshu said...

:) Happy diwali Chachi!

dipali said...

@karmic kids: But the joy of having your young son drive you around on a Sunday when neither his dad nor the driver are there, or driving us all back from a movie- that more than makes up for the anxious moments!
And he has had excellent teachers:)
@anshu: Thanks- how was Diwali with your little nephew?

choxbox said...

lovely!

mummyjaan said...

So good to read that you had a happy Diwali. Stay happy and safe, always!

WA said...

18? Wow my one will be there in a few years. Scary stuff, I am already feeling lost

Neera said...

This was so touching Dipali ..u know how much I love such posts, right? :) My mind flash forwarded too and wishes my son loves me as much then as yours and I am as cool then as u :) Belated wishes to ur family for Diwali and wishing u a truly wonderful year ahead!

bird's eye view said...

Your diwali lights look fabulous and sounds like you had a great time as did all your guests. Hope I'll manage to be that kind of mom when Chubbocks and gang grow up.