A day before Diwali

I am on my way back home from a stationary shop loaded with a lot of papers, designer laces, glittery material and glue. Diwali is almost there and I have decided to create a lantern I saw in market few days ago.

I am now walking on the road inside the colony where I stay. This road is usually quiet. Buses are not allowed, an occasional auto rickshaw comes in. There are buildings on both sides of this road. Their main gates opening to the road, enclosing small play ground for each apartment. My apartment is located at the far end of this road just where the road turns.

I walk past a building and delicious smell of besan being roasted is in the air. I see a dad putting lights and lantern in his window. His small kid trying to help excitedly. I look at the surrounding apartments, numerous windows are showing off different coloured lanterns. Yellow, orange, and red even blue I notice. I can see different patterns of lighting arrangements too although they are not clearly visible now in the day time. Once the night falls, all of these will bring the festive atmosphere.

On the side of the road I see a small vendor with a hand pulled cart. He is selling rangoli colours. A few girls and ladies have gathered around him. A little girl looks confused. She does not know which colours to choose, no wonder there are so many options.

Next to her is an old lady, selling diyas. Holding diyas, she is looking at each person passing by. Her eyes filled with expectation. She has five beautiful lanterns. I look at the my stationary shopping. I am in two minds now, but I decide I will still create mine. So I continue for home.

Two kids play with their firecrackers. One chasing another with a toy gun in hand. They quickly disappear behind the building compound wall. I hear a snap of roll caps cracker in the background. Diwali vacation has begun already.

I am almost reaching my home now, my thoughts are back to the lantern I have decided to make. A while later, I am half way through my lantern making, I take a break. Holding my cup of coffee I look at my preparation, candles, diyas small and big I have all that I need. I suddenly remember the look on the old lady’s face and the beautiful laterns she had. I try but cannot shake off the thought.

I go back to the road side, find her still there. I notice she has sold one till now. I am glad my favorite colored lantern is still there, unsold. I buy it and some diyas . Her eyes are enlightened. I feel good.. I decide to put both at home. This is what Diwali is all about… spreading light and happiness.