Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diwali Celebrations at Shanti Bhavan

"Boom! Bam." I thought I was going to turn deaf. Who cared? It was Diwali after all.

Everyone was so excited from morning. It was a holiday and we slept in. For breakfast we had idlis and hmmm well, I thought I'd rather skip the day’s events and head straight to the celebrations at night.

We were all ready for the evening's show. Unfortunately it started drizzling so we had the cultural program, organized by the children, in the assembly hall instead of having it outside in the dining hall like last year. There was so much fun watching children of different age groups dancing to music varying from Tamil folk dance to Chris Brown's 'Kiss Kiss.'

After the programme was over, we had a quick dinner of vegetable pulav and got ready for the most awaited part of the day. Everyone gathered on the lawn outside the dining hall and waited for the grown-ups to equally distribute the different kinds of sparklers and crackers.

Screams of excitement filled the air. The smaller kids lighted their sparklers, and the older ones preferred the crackers and missiles. The night turned into day, as darkness was replaced by the light from all the lighting. It was such a joy to watch the kindergartners who are new to the school light their first Diwali sparklers and scream with joy as they whirled it before them. Seeing their excitement reminded me of my first Diwali night long ago in Shanti Bhavan when the loud sounds and lights scared me.

As I stood next to my friends, turning a sparkler, I realized that this was going to be my last Diwali at school before graduation, and my classmates and I were ready to make the most of it.

Unlike me, those who were adventurous lit crackers and sent rockets into the sky. I stepped back to see them fly into the distance and burst into different colors. We were having so much fun.

I wished Diwali night would last forever. It was a very special day for me because this festival of lights had brought teachers, aunties, children, some of the graduates, volunteers, and the support staff together. It was a day I will always cherish in my heart.


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