It’s Diwali: The festival of lights. The festival of crackers, earthen lamps, Rangoli, sweets, new clothes. The last day of the Hindu year. The festival of good finally winning over evil. You can read more about it here.
And there’s also cleaning. 🙂
Yeah, every year before Diwali, all people clean their houses from top to bottom. They rid their lives of clutter and welcome the new year with a clean and fresh outlook. I think it’s a wonderful tradition! Because, the material clutter often leads to mental clutter.
Like each year, the stuff in the cupboards comes out, the drawers are emptied of unwanted knick-knacks and papers. Only the things that matter are retained. Which brings me to our own drawers.
All my family is fond of music. I’ve grown up listening to old Lata Mangeshkar songs and classical music and Ghazals. And of course, my dearest, Madan Mohan! It was because of my family that I developed a taste for old Hindi music, and they learnt to appreciate new age music with me.
We had a huge collection of cassettes; Mum’s Mohd. Rafi and Asha Bhosle songs collection, Papa’s Jagjit Singh albums, my nursery rhymes and fairy tales! Though I can’t say they loved my cassettes particularly (How often can a grown-up listen to Mary had a Little Lamb?), I grew to love their cassettes and music immensely.
Well, times change. The age of digital music is here. So now it’s CDs (they’re getting old too, I know) and iTunes. And yes, it’s convenient and space-friendly and everything, but… But I sometimes miss the cassettes. And the fact that I had to listen to three boring songs before I got to the one that I really liked. (Using the Forward button too much spoilt the cassette). I remember we had a Philips tape-recorder-cum-cassette-player. And a walkman. And at least three pocket radios. And of course, the bigger radio. All of them have gone out of fashion and our home. We still have a stereo that can play cassettes apart from the CDs and the radio, but the cassette playing part doesn’t always work due to lack of use.
This Diwali, we also got rid of a major part of our cassette collection. We’ve retained some classic collections and I’ve been given the job of finding those songs in a digital format. End of an era for me!
I found another thing too. That’s my first brush with music playing. 🙂
I, of course, then moved on to bigger and better things. We have a Harmonium and a mini keyboard too. The harmonium is my father’s; my Mum used to sing and sometimes play. (She still sings by the way; the past tense is for the playing). When I learnt singing, the harmonium was my companion too. Though I never formally learnt how to play the Harmonium or the keyboard, I could carry simple tunes. Still can, I believe. 🙂
But we don’t. Not very often. With other things taking priority, the harmonium and the keyboard are packed away. But they’re treasures and we would never give them away.
I gave away the music set pictured above, though. Along with some more of my old toys; I can’t seem to be able to part with all of them at once and have to wait every year to give some. It’s difficult, isn’t it? To give away one’s childhood. For most things, I’m not that sentimental. I’m good at getting rid of unwanted things. I don’t normally get attached to them all that much. And I very much realise the importance of cleansing one’s life. But there are certain things for which I convince myself with difficulty.
But I digress. I haven’t yet told you about the part I enjoy a lot during Diwali: Rangoli making. It’s made of coloured sand, and flowers and anything really. You just need colours. Like a temporary mosaic on the floor. Here’s what mine looks like this year. I kept it small and simple.
Another part that I love is the lighting of earthen lamps. There’s something about the diya flames, isn’t there?
I hope everyone has a great Diwali and a wonderful year ahead. 🙂