While I’m sitting at my desk, hardly breathing, drowning in work with the noise of employees shouting out the breaking news for the day, market moves and screens above me flashing, BBC and CNN channels. There is little-to-no time to think about anything else, apart from making deadlines meet. With such chaos around me, two colleagues who pass by walking to the nearest ‘Relax Room’ whisper to each other, “So when is your flight home?” to which the other one replies, “Oh, it’s tomorrow at midnight, I’ll reach just in time to light the diyas home. Gosh, I wish my mom makes Motichoor Ka Laddoo!”
Diyas are oil lamps that are primarily lit around the house during the festival of Diwali. The festive is synonym to the Hindu version of a New Year, celebrated over five days or less according to various religious beliefs you come from. Independent wrote a beautiful, clear and easy-to-understand piece about the significance of Diwali.
As I said, the surprising part is even in the loudest of the noise I hear could hear them speak, crystal clear. I wonder why. Well I guess I know now, let me tell you.
I, or we as siblings, moved out of home a few years back, like any millennial, to work, study and pursue my dreams (though it sounds very cliche’). And the fact that not many festivities were celebrated in our house together after we all grew old wasn’t something we felt bad about as the years passed.
But here’s the thing, remember when we were in our early teenage? We hated our parents, we hated our siblings, we wanted ‘freedom’, wanted to live away from home, loved to hang out with friends all the time, and made an annoying face when that phone call from home said “Come home! It’s past midnight!” We wanted to run away from restrictions, forever.
This festive season, if you’re away from home, you’re not alone.
Looking ahead, here we are, waiting to go back home, have our favorite recipe from our mom’s kitchen, listen to our dad’s endless career advice, and our sibling’s pestering till you wait to yell back at them. Living approximately 1,600 miles away from my home, I look around seeing the festive preparations happen bigger and bigger, and talk one extra hour over my phone. Thank god for technology, they indeed keep families together.
This is to every single one of you, who are struggling to make ends meet, thriving in your profession, working double jobs and many shifts to get to the top of the ladder, your home has your back. So don’t hesitate in the fear of falling off that ladder. Go and conquer. Because at the end of the day while you open the door to your house, tired and worn out, your phone will ring. The person on the other end will tell you to switch to the video option, “Here eat this Mothichoor Ka Laddoo, your favorite, open your mouth!”
And when the day finally everyone falls into the plan of fixing a convenient time and date for a short vacation and book tickets while cribbing about important meeting schedules, freelance work, extra hours of shift replacing another employee etc. Click! ‘Your tickets are booked’ says the screen in front of you. You wouldn’t realize until you will walk to the Arrivals, see each other at the airport and freeze. Freeze, thanking yourself for hitting the ‘Book’ button, counting on the things you’re grateful for, and times you thought you had no one while struggling in some city of some country.
So put your heaviness back, because this festive season, if you’re away from home, you’re not alone.