Back in the 90’s, Diwali was one big festival. In some ways it still is but the magnitude is much lesser. You can blame our busy lives, the rise of expenses or simply loosing the charm for festivities for the bleak Diwali celebrations nowadays. I still remember schools being off for 8-10 days for Diwali celebrations, Diwali mela’s all over the city, buying of cracker in bulk, packing tons of gifts for friends and family. The whole family, including the distant cousins used to come over, we used to burn crackers, spend hours playing cards whilst the adults had their drinks and snacks.
But now its a blessing if even the whole family of 4 get to be together on Diwali night. Specially for people who have their siblings abroad or in some other city. When we were young, the whole colony used to be out burning crackers and exchanging sweets with neighbours. But over the past few years we all have noticed lesser people on the streets, significant downfall in exchange of gifts and sweets and the downfall of cracker sales. To be very frank, I appreciate that the sale of cracker has come down. In fact, I’d urge everyone to celebrate Diwali with rangoli, sweets and lights (candles, diyas and LED decorations) and give up on polluting crackers completely.
Now the families are so divided that none of the festivals seems the same. The joint family culture has been nuclear families of 4-5 members, out of which 1-2 are either abroad or somewhere else in India, away from the family. Since my brother moved to the US, Diwali has never been the same for us. We are happy but not excited, we do our best to keep my bro involved through FaceTime, Skype or Hangout but no matter how advanced technology gets we are still not teleporting. Or are we?
Well for some lucky families, PepsiCo might just become the teleport agents thanks to its #GharWaliDiwali initiative. What PepsiCo India is doing this Diwali is not just a lucky contest but a heartwarming effort to make you fly to your loved ones for Diwali this year. For some it may be just a flight ticket, but for many who are away from the family and can’t afford to fly to them, its like a guardian angel taking care of them.
Hence its my request to everyone who lives with his family, make full use of this time and celebrate the festival of happiness and light with your family. There is no substitute for it as time never comes back.
I hope the time comes when being with the family is more important than clubbing or hanging out with friends on Diwali night. As there is no Diwali as #GharWaliDiwali!