In the Digital Era, we have little or almost no time for human bonding. We have an extensive network of friends and followers on social media. However, Our offline friends are inversely proportional to our online connects. We are a part of multiple groups, but we don’t have the time to talk a friend of need. Technically, we juggle our time between busy work schedules and the lifestyle mandates. Festivals like Diwali, though commercialized these days are the salvage for human bonding. I feel a sense of nostalgia engulf me when I recollect the festivals of yesteryears. Festivals were no longer an event of one day; it was a celebration of a week. The festive mood set in well ahead of its time. Houses were decorated, and it was filled with loved ones and energy. As laughter echoed through the hallways, the aroma of freshly made traditional sweets and new clothes scintillated our emotions.
Today, festivals are not as elaborate as back then. However, they are a time of human bonding and sharing. It is a time where we renew our relationship with our friends and family. It is a time of secularism. It is a time where we touch hearts and of course taste buds beyond religious beliefs. We come together as a society and burst our indifference and anger. Every cracker I hear brings us a step closer. As a passionate foodie, I relish every morsel of the delicacy and the goodness of a friendly neighbour. These are people who we ignore for the most of the year. We are not cruel or insensitive. We just do not have the time nor energy to engage in a conversation with others. Our metro-centric nuclear lifestyle gives us minimal scope for human interactions. Festivals are a great way to start a relationship.
Personally, there are two things which make festivals unique. It is a way of connecting with our neighbours and colleagues. It is a way of renewing lost friendships. It is a way of spending more quality time with our family. It is a time of forgiveness and bonding. The next part and my favourite part is the traditional food. We have almost forgotten our grandma’s recipes of traditional Diwali sweets. We have moved on to a more modern confectionary side of it. However, Diwali gives us an opportunity to relish the Indian counterpart of the sweets and savouries
There are over a hundred varieties of desserts which are worth mentioning. However, a few of my personal favourites are
Halwa – This juicy and delicious sweet dish is served hot. The recipe can be prepared using loads of jaggery and ghee. Carrot Halwa, Beetroot Halwa, Wheat Halwa, Bread Halwa, Badam Halwa are some of the variants of the dish.
Murukku – This homemade crispy delicacy has been my all-time favourite. The dish can be prepared a home, and it does require patience. The recipe comes in various variants like Thenkuzhal murukku, Butter murukku, Ragi Murukku, Achu Murukku, Coconut milk murukku, etc.
Good food and great company will make our life worthwhile. Diwali might be a good reason to kick-start both. Let’s not get lost in the sea of social media and relish the goodness around us. Happy Diwali.
This is the winning story from the contest held to get writers to write about “My Diwali Story”