Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nostalgia Strikes Yet Again!

Another year gone by... and it's the time for "Diwali Cleaning" again!

Synonymous with the "Spring Cleaning" of the West, "Diwali Cleaning" still remains a very major event in most Indian families, even though the families have split into nuclear units now and most people don't have any human resources available to them for this mammoth task!

I have been involved in the "Diwali Cleaning" of my house since last Sunday. And now that it's almost completed, I am finally struck by nostalgia again! I managed to keep the memories at bay for the last several years, but this time I couldn't fool myself!

"Diwali Cleaning" used to be a real fun "adventure" back in Kanpur... when my mom was still alive! We had this huge terrace right outside our home... and my dad used to own a factory, so he could call the staff from the factory for the "Diwali Cleaning". And... best of all... my mom used to love to hoard stuff up in the house -- old clothes, her hand-made dolls and different kinds of wall hangings, other little odd trinkets -- so it used to be a major "treasure hunt" for my sister and me!

The staff from my dad's factory would take one room at a time, put all its furniture and other stuff out on the terrace to soak up the sun while they cleaned the rooms. So the terrace was where my sister and I settled ourselves!

We used to rummage around in all the several dozens of boxes and suitcases lying all around us... and every time one of us found something interesting, we would let out a squeal of pure joy and run to share our "discovery" with the other sibling! At times my mom would let us keep some of the things we really took a fancy for!

Then there were the cartons of books! My dad and all his 4 brothers used to be bookworms when they were young! And they even had a couple of friends who owned 2 of the major book shops in the town back then! Needless to say, they got a lot of books to read for free, and also bought many of them at discounted prices! Then there were those books who had some kind of defect -- their covers were apparently returned to the publisher for a refund -- ONLY the covers and NOT the complete book! So they even got some of those slightly "defective" books for free! Those book cartons were *my* personal heaven each year! :-p

After all the "big" stuff had been done by the "big" people, it was time for us kids to take care of the little details -- the brass items were polished using brasso, the TV, fridge and telephone set cleaned with colin, the almirahs wiped clean with damp cloth, new papers for the shelves and drawers -- it used to be fun!

And finally we went shopping to buy something new for the house... to replace the discarded stuff. I remember the time we bought artificial flowers for the very first time! And mom gave me one of her precious possessions -- a brown flower vase, probably ceramic -- and asked me to decorate the flowers in that vase in whatever way I wanted to! Yupp... creativity was always encouraged in my family, by both parents!

Anyways... the point of narrating this whole long story is that I'm missing the old times... I'm missing my mom... and I'm missing my sister here too! She won't be able to come home for Diwali 'coz of work.

They say that the world has become a much smaller place today than what it was 10 years ago. But then how come our loved ones have gone so far from us today?

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2 comments:

Mahesh Nayak said...

Beautiful post kads. Sorry been a while since I visited your blog.

Kaddu said...

That's okay dude -- I know you have been busy with stuff lately!

Btw, my dad seems to have really fallen in love with that song! He he! ;-) ;-)

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