Home is where home is

Diwali has always been an elaborate affair for us. Back in the days, the brother and I would tag along with our grandfather to go shopping for crackers and the evening puja, and come back as porters.

The torture, in the name of preparations, would begin at least a month in advance. Ma would take up the Herculean task of cleaning. Everything from the curtains to the kids would be scrubbed and cleaned. The first sign of it was waking us up at dawn because the fans had to be cleaned. Over the days, we would discover unknown corners of the house.

It was also a lost-and-found month.“A mera sticker book mil gaya”. “G I Joe’s torn leg, He-man’s lost sword, we found it all. It didn’t matter how many helps ma had, we had to pitch in as errand runners. It was horrible then; it’s a pleasant memory now.

I was missing ma’s Diwali in our new home. She had called me multiple times asking if I had bought new sheets, curtains, and new me (already have a brand new husband). The only way I could feel at home was through scrubbing and cleaning and making everyone around me (only the husband) scrub and clean as well.

I woke up dangerously early the next day and asked the husband to clean the fan. He left; with a fake promise to send help. I flushed two lizards, killed a lot of spiders, washed everything in sight and tried to bathe the dog (he left as well, with no promises).

The house looked new and bright and I felt old and dead. It felt a lot like Diwali now. The husband breezed in at night with some sweets from uss paar and said, “Mujhe bolna tha, I would have sent someone to help”.
On any other day, I would have dealt with him just fine, but today, I could only roll my eyes.

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Happy Diwali, everyone!

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