Adapting a Holiday Celebration

Read this story to know how an Indian Family manages to celebrate their beloved festival of Diwali during the Pandemic:

It was the month of November’2020. The Mehta Family consisted of Ankita, Nikhil, Mr. Ashish Mehta, and Mrs. Neelam Mehta. The children stayed away from their home in Bangalore for their higher studies in a rented flat while Mr. and Mrs. Mehta were in Mumbai.

As the festival of Diwali was fast approaching Mr. and Mrs. Mehta were very upset as their children were unable to visit them for Diwali celebrations this time due to the pandemic situation. Each year they used to celebrate Diwali together with great joy and enthusiasm but this time it was totally different.

The family used to have a video chat every day so while on video chat when Ankita saw that her parents are tensed and unhappy about not being together during the Diwali festival she suggested something, which made everyone happy.

Ankita: I know this year is a bit different and we are not together for Diwali celebration this time but we can still celebrate it together in a new way.

Mr. Mehta: How is that possible, Ankita?

Ankita: We all can celebrate Diwali with each other through video chatting.

Nikhil: Not Bad! I think it is a brilliant idea.

Mrs. Mehta: Yes, I think that would be good.

Mr. Mehta: Even though we are not together, let’s celebrate it together in a new way.

Ankita: This will be really wonderful. We can see each other and have fun together in a new way this time.

So everyone started planning for the Diwali festival. They decided that they will clean and decorate their home with clay lamps, decorative lights, flowers and create rangoli designs on the entrance using colored powders. 

Mr. Mehta brought decorative lights and painted the clay lamps himself since he had a passion for painting clay lamps from his schooldays! On the other hand, Mrs. Mehta made Kheel Batasha, Mawa Kachori, MotiPak, Chiraunji ki Barfi, and Gujiyas as well. 

Nikhil and Ankita also cleaned and decorated their rented house for Diwali with clay lamps and lights. 

They did online shopping for new clothes and other items together. Mother taught Ankita and Nikhil to cook various sweet dishes and snacks like Samosa, Murukku, Gulab Jamun, Kheer, Namkeens, etc which are usually cooked during Diwali through video chat. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mehta were very happy that even after staying at different places they were able to spend quality time with their children.

On Diwali, they wore new clothes, decorated their houses by lighting candles, clay lamps, and burst crackers. For Lakshmi Puja, Ankita and Nikhil joined their parents through video chat. Mrs. Mehta and Mr. Mehta worshipped Goddess Lakshmi and prayed for everyone’s well-being and happiness.

After the Lakshmi Puja, Mr. Mehta told the children the story behind the Diwali Celebrations. He told them that in the Hindu epic Ramayana, Diwali is the day when Rama, Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman reached Ayodhya after an arduous exile period of 14 years. 

Rama has led his army into battle and defeated Ravana and his forces.  Rama, his brother Lakshmana, and a large force of both monkeys and bears successfully led a siege on Lanka in order to free Sita. Sita had been imprisoned in Lanka after Ravana kidnapped her while Rama was pursuing a golden deer……..

Ankita and Nikhil were mesmerized on hearing the story behind celebrating Diwali. Diwali was celebrated as a significance of triumph of good over evil. It is also called as Festival of Lights. 

After that the family sat down for dinner and they had mouth-watering feasts.

After Dinner, Nikhil suggested that they can have an Online Carrom Game.

Ankita: So, me and Mom will play as a “Team A” and Dad and Nikhil will be “Team B”! Let’s have a competition and see which team wins this game.

Nikhil: Not Bad! I agree, but do play better this time. You always lose.

Mr. Mehta: I don’t know why they want to compete when they lose every time.

Mrs. Mehta: We will see, who wins the game.

Ankita: Yes, even though we lost a few times, but this time we will surely win!

Mr. Mehta: Let’s not count the chickens before they hatch. 

Nikhil: OK! Let’s start the game.

Ankita: Let’s start then…

After some time………………

Ankita: Hurrah! “Team A” won! Nikhil, I told you we will win this game.

Nikhil: Congrats Ankita, you played better this time but don’t forget we will win next time.

Mr. Mehta: Congrats! You were lucky this time but don’t be overconfident. Next time we will win.

Mrs. Mehta: We will win again, don’t worry Ankita.

After spending a wonderful time playing carrom game, they sat down to discuss their feelings with each other.

Ankita: This year Diwali celebrations were a bit different from the usual but I really enjoyed a lot. 

Nikhil: Yes, at least we were able to enjoy Diwali together even after staying far away due to video chat. This was really an amazing experience.

Mrs. Mehta: Thanks to Ankita for suggesting this, we were so unhappy about not being able to celebrate this festival with both of you.

Mr. Mehta: This is only possible because we have the option to see each other on Video Chat, during old times it was even difficult to have a phone call with each other as everyone did not had a mobile phone back then like today’s generation. This generation is very tech savvy which has its own benefits as well as disadvantages.

Mrs. Mehta: Because of this technology only today we were all together, isn’t this amazing?

Ankita: Also, this time I got the opportunity to learn and cook so many new dishes which I never did before as mom took care of everything.

Nikhil: Yes, this was a new and wonderful experience for all of us.

Mrs. Mehta: Even after staying at two different places, we all made this Diwali special and enjoyed it in a new way!  This is a very memorable day for me as I was able to spend it with my full family.

Everyone agreed. 

Short Story by Aditi Mahanti.

So, what do you think should be the “Moral Of The Story”? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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