Saturday, October 15, 2011

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Diwali has been one of my favorite festivals for a very long time. Though over the years the way I celebrate the event that signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, god over demons, etc has changed. My fondness for the festival has remained the same.
Diwali was one of those occasions when the entire family got together in my maternal grandfather's home. It would be a riot of colors and a cacophony of noises as we 20 grandkids played, fought and frolicked for the few days we were together. Those were the carefree days of childhood when the only job was to have fun and be happy, eat and sleep well. What better way to enjoy than by wear new clothes, receive gifts of cash, toys, etc, burst crackers, and of course eat whole lot of goodies.
When I got together with my cousings during these festival holidays we would have eating competitions and our moms would never get tired cooking and feeding us. At those times due to my apparent ignorence I never valued the great family together time. As I grew older and got busy with my own life, studies, college, adventure sports, travelling and other activities took precedence and the first thing to be ignored was family and these festivities. As a young college student I would look forward to these festivals but for a different reason - holidays so I could travel with friends.

After coming to the US, Diwali has taken a whole new meaning. It is now more than ever in my life that I appreciate and miss the family time together, that I took so much for granted in my younger years. The gifts I received were not of great value but it was given with so much love that even the most expensive gifts felt cheap in comparison.


As we approach another Diwali this year I remember and cherish the family times and shared enjoyment that I miss today living in America. Last year American Express launched a new gift card exclusively for the Diwali festival. This is one way through which I can show my loved ones living in this country that I remember that it is festival season and that I do care for them, even though I may not be meeting them on a regular basis. The American Express Diwali Gift Card is a great product in my opinion and I have been sending them to my family and friends here since last year.


American Express is now offering my blog readers an opportunity to win $50 gift cards by sharing their memories of Diwali. All you need to do is to leave a comment in response to this post about your favorite memories/ experiences of Diwali and five winners will be chosen at random to receive $50 gift card each from American Express. So get those memories from the corners of your heart and pen them down here and your story could get you a little extra money for the upcoming festival season.













Anonymous said...

The sentiment of Diwali well captured. My earliest memories are when I was scared of fire crackers. My mom would try to make me hold the flowery sticks and I would just drop them. Later of course I enjoyed fire crackers and did some dangerous stuff such as setting up a bonfire with unexploded crackers etc.

Mami2jcn said...

I'm not Indian myself, but I had Indian friends in high school. My fondest Diwali memory was attending a Diwali celebration in New Jersey years ago. It was very festive and fun.