The festival of Diwali is known as the festival of Lights, and, is a festival peculiar to India and Indians. This festival is one of lights, sweets gaiety and meeting friends and relatives.
In India this festival is one of the most wonderful festival celebrated by one and all together with loved ones. Once in this period of the festival, I had gone to London with mi parents.
To London, my father was being sent for a three months assignment, and, in these three months, Diwali was to fall. This made me very morose for, this was my favorite festival, and I did not want to miss the festivities.
I wondered how we would celebrate this there, and how lonely we would be in an alien land, with no one to celebrate with us. I did play truant and tried my best to convince my mother, that we would go only after Diwali.
I was in a real fix for, I did not want to miss celebrating Diwali and neither did I wish to miss the trip to London. After a lot of tantrums, I realized that nothing could be done, so I just had to go.
It was mid-November, the fourteenth of November and Diwali was on the 26th of November. So much against my wishes, we had to finally leave for the United Kingdom on the 14th. Now I was absolutely convinced that, this year Diwali would have to be forfeited, for, we were to return after three months.
We boarded the plane on the 14th night and on the 15th afternoon we were at London. There, at the airport an uncle had come to receive us and all was fine. However, my mood was still off and, believe me, Daddy even noticed it, and asked me what the matter was. After a lot of cajoling, I finally told him that, I was upset about
having to miss Diwali at home in India. In reply to this, a surprise awaited me as, Daddy told me that, I need not worry about this little thing as, in London also, Diwali is celebrated with a lot of gaiety just as in India. This did surprise me though I did not believe it and thought that, Daddy was saying so, just to make me happy.
However, after a week came the D-Day, it was Diwali knocking at the door, and I was in for a number of surprises.
I got to see all that I m D , task tuft. Sound it hard to believe as to how many myriads of Indians live there. The huge numbers that flocked to the party stunned me, and above all, I saw them all dressed in beautiful silk sarees, the men in silken Kurtas and Churidars while the young girls in typical Indian dresses.
The very aura created by just the dresses made me forget that I was in England. It was a true and real picture of an Indian Diwali get-together on Diwali in India.
There was a huge panda for the prayers, where all of us went to offer prayers, then hymns for Goddess Lakshmi were recited and sung by all and finally the Prasad was offered to all. After the prayer, all of us went to another huge open space where there was a spectacular show of crackers.
For as much as about forty-five minutes we enjoyed a show of color and noise of crackers. After this display of crackers we were once again directed to another huge area beautifully decorated with earthenware lamps, candles, and chandeliers.
Here I could see rows and rows of Indian sweets laid out for all of us to help ourselves to, and so we did. After the sweets there were laid down foods of different Indian choices for us to enjoy.
I had, to be true, never seen this much in India, such a collection of Indian sweets, Indian foods, and Indian decor all under one roof and that also in a foreign country.
What surprised me and also pleased me was the fact that, Indians abroad maintain their Indian traditions so well when they are out of the: country. While, on the contrary, we, living in India wish! leave our traditions.
The Diwali celebrations in London that we were treaty to, were far better than what we enjoy here in India. The grandeur, the details of the tradition and the plenty of everything was so perfect that, for the time being, I hat completely forgotten that I was not in India, but in an alia land.
It pleased me a lot to notice that, India was so wad represented in England. Now, I was glad that I had com to England during the Diwali season for else, the festival of lights of England would have remained unknown tome It was a great pleasure and a great knowledge.
This visit! London was my first visit and two years have passed but my memories of the occasion have still not faded Whenever Diwali comes, I remember that Diwali and as Daddy when he will take me again to that land of fantasy and enjoyment.