November 11, 2012

Is the Deepavali zing missing?

If there is one activity at Deepavali time that calls for people to get together what would it be at your end?
Decorating the home?
Bursting crackers?
Or dining together?
My take is that cooking would be the fun thing for many people if you set it up well and not called it a dreary kitchen activity.
The past fortnight I have been asking my editorial colleagues to locate and talk to families who make it a point to prepare sweets and snacks the traditional way.
We were keen to do a feature on this trend but we could not do much.
Hardly any makes sweets at home. They order from Kakkadas or Grand, Sri Krishna or Sree Mithai.
Families are nuclear. They have hardly any time. And why sweat when foodstuff is delivered when ordered online.
For those who still prefer the best and the traditional, there are specialists who make the stuff for you.
I think festivals in the metro are passé. People celebrate every other fortnight or month and they even create an occasion to do so. And why not? We live life differently.
So Deepavali and Christmas are not a big deal really.
The auto-driver who took me home on Tuesday night was a worried man. "I have been going round in circles this evening and haven't got even festival shoppers," he said, hoping I would pay him an extra ten.
Decorative lights on stores are less seen in the shopping spaces in our neighbourhoods. Festival billboards are shouting out mere discounts. And fire-cracker outlets will open only on festival eve.
Friend V. Rajesh says the dying zing of Indian festivals was a theme he taught at a B-school last summer.
So will kids really believe in Santa Claus this Christmas?
It is a question I ask as we prepare to plan our annual Santa Gifting Tour for December in our neighboruhoods?
I think we need to be just kids if we want to enjoy festivals.
Meanwhile, I leave you with a message in chalk written on the wall of the Chennai Corporation School in my neighbourhood this morning - Happy Diwali. Safe Diwali.

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