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A Letter To All Those Who Celebrated Diwali Away From Home

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The festive season can be a daunting time for all those who celebrated it away from home. In this festival of lights, it is important to realise that home is where the heart is, and not within those four walls.

It is that time of the year when every house on the street is adorned with a variety of fairy lights, the smell of newly made sweets wafts through the house, filling all corners and the soul of those it reaches, and everybody dons their best traditional wear. The sky is illuminated with the burst of a thousand crackers. The diyas are lighted one by one with the belief that they will ward off the negativity, and welcome the godly spirits. Diwali is a feeling that is often associated with being home and celebrating it with your loved ones.
For all those who celebrated Diwali away from home this year, I know how it feels. I know that you craved to be back
home, be just as much a part of this festival as much as you’ve been for the past 18 years of your life. You longed to
help your mother with the rangolis, taste the sweets while they were still being made, embellish the house with lights and flowers, and wake up in your own bed that very day. It might have been a daunting task to even get through the day without having any family around. Everything about it, all that you encounter on the street, might just fill you with nostalgia and longing. You might have stayed in your cocoon till the Diwali madness passed and the world returned to its ordinary workings. You might have considered passing your time by resorting to Netflix or other activities that you engage in daily, probably giving you the illusion that that day might just not be any different from any other day in the year. The prospect of staying in was any way gloomier than going out and celebrating like everyone else did in Diwali.

Fun is in company. The new city would probably not carry the same charm, your roommates probably won’t share your blood, and your hostel room might have just seemed too small and suffocating. In other words, it just wouldn’t have been home. However, it is important to believe that celebration comes in all shapes and forms and should never be restricted. Just because you’ve known something to exist in a certain way, does not mean that you cease to modify it with time. Your new city pulls you in its embrace; unfamiliarity might seem familiar to you eventually. Your
roommates will always be your family, home away from home. Your hostel room might only serve the purpose of
you sleeping after a long tiresome day, but it will become a place that holds all kinds of bittersweet memories. It will be home, even though it is hard to believe so right now.

Feature Image Credits: Daily Express

Anoushka Singh
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