Yesterday
was Deepavali, the festival of lights, the day when people go bonkers over
crackers and all that jazz…
Yes… Yesterday
was Deepavali, and at my maternal grandparents place after 2 years of no
Deepavali  [or any festival —> 2015- Grandpa passed away, so no celebrations for a year, then an
aunt passed away, so nothing for the next year… you get the drift] .. Gramma
was up, and she had heated up oil for herself & me for the “Oil bath”. She
asked me if I was gonna take an oil bath, and I told her “no, not today”… which
was also the same answer I gave when she told me to wear something new
[fortunately she did not give me a hard time about it and let it be]. Well, my
other Gramma [dad’s mom] had passed away less than a month ago and honestly, I
was in no mood to celebrate anything! 
Gramma
being Gramma, went ahead and had an oil bath, called and spoke to her kids and
sibling, wishing them for the day… She then insisted on wobbling to the kitchen
to make Idli, chutney and insisted I eat some… I hate idlies, but then managed
to plunge down 2 idlies… Also had a spoonful of Okkarai [a sweet we make for
Deepavali]..
I
found it quite amusing and frustrating that Gramma was being so stubborn about
age-old traditions… And in many cases, I find it is the older generation that is behaving in this manner… 
Some
questions that popped in my head were,
Are
they afraid of reality that they hide behind these traditions?
What
is it about traditions that they find hard to compromise on?
Why
do they not go with the times/changes?
Are
they averse to change? Is change scary?
Is it the fact that they are growing old that is unsettling? [had infact done a post on this sometime back- Read it here
Back
in the days, Deepavali [and other festivals] meant the entire family landing up
at this house and spending pretty much all day here…. It was also a day when we got new clothes and a small amount of money from our grandparents.  Now, with all of us grown
up, things aren’t what they used to be. Even if everyone lands up here, they
all scoot in different directions within few hours. It has honestly become just
another day [ a day off].. And these days, we go shopping at random times during the year, unlike earlier… 
Strangely,
am not big on traditions, probably because most of them don’t make any sense to
me.. Family has no answers for my questions and am reprimanded with a “we do
it, so you better follow”…. I am a bit of a rebel, but then, am not one of
those who does things for the heck of it. I need logic, I need reasoning,
history and all that jazz..
I
don’t really know when things changed [or was it just I changed?], but it has
been a decade or so since I have bought/burst a single cracker, half a decade
since I stopped shopping for new clothes [will have something new in the
cupboard, that I will wear for a short period of time just to satisfy the
family]… I am also not big on the whole wake up at 4am, take oil bath, have
Idli for breakfast kinda routine that goes on at home. I dont get it, never did, never will I guess.. It has become just another day, if you ask me! 
I
honestly don’t remember what Deepavali was like growing up, as in – did we come
to Chennai for the festival, or did we celebrate it where we were… Did we go
visiting the few relatives we had in that town or just stay home, or did my
dad’s office have parties we attended…. It is like that part of my memory has
been wiped out clean…
Yesterday,
I was glad this gramma was off to uncle’s house and I would be home alone….

I
was glad I dint have to endure a family lunch, be around folks who went on and
on about random stuff, or stay cooped up in my room doing my own thing…

I
actually had a good day – went for a movie with a friend, and rest of the day
was spent at home with Floppy.. we talked, watched some TV, he ignored me
awhile going off to lounge under the sofa, whined about the nonstop crackers
and well we had a fun evening.. J
How was your Deepavali/ Diwali?