I always say this to my close friends; once it crosses October, time flies even more faster because;
’Tis the season to be happy’
Simply meaning that; there are so MANY family or cultural festivities and celebrations that would be lined up across the three months. Phone calls would begin and end with wishes from everyone regardless of their background. It’s a fun thing. Seeing our friends from other backgrounds enjoying the palagaram made from scratch is definitely one of my favourite expressions to see in the past Deepavali open houses. Neighbours and friends come over and they for sure as hell have had one too many thosai’s and chicken curry but let’s be real, I always catch myself wanting more! 😂
I have had 24 Deepavalis’ in my entire life and I cannot wait for the next one. Sure some of these Deepavalis’, I spent my time probably drinking milk, puking all over my mom and crying. It is truly a plethora of emotions; and knowing this only makes me want to welcome more Deepavalis’’ in my life.
Celebrating ANY festive holiday can be quite scary for the introverts. Yet; if done right, we truly enjoy the fun and joy that comes from it. Many mental health advocates say that it is very normal for us to feel overwhelmed and stressed during festival season. One of the reasons why this happens is because we want it to be “perfect”.
Hey, we are all guilty of this.
So I made these 3 promises to myself for this Deepavali because I know it is time for a shift in our mindset and how we can be more sensitive to others during this beautiful season ahead of us.
I will not participate in rituals that don’t serve me
Every family has their own traditions and customs. As we grow in life, I believe that we should design our lives in a way that we can practise what has logic and also allow space for new customs and rituals. I am a huge believer in knowing your ‘why’ before doing anything. So a ritual I have ditched over the years is to oil my head in the morning. This simply does not appeal to me! It is as simple as that!
You do not need a reason to stop what you don’t like doing!
The biggest emotion I see on any festive day is happiness. Simply basking in the joy of having people around us to share good food and laughter with. So ditching a ritual isn’t going to make your Deepavali less significant. It is what you make of it.
On that note, I welcomed a new ritual for myself. I promised that i would always have at least one meal with a close one and speak about all things Deepavali; the culture, the food, the story of why we celebrate it in the first place.
I will not hold myself back with food
Oh where should I begin. Food is a huge part of Deepavali. Like duh! Everyone has a different scales as to how big their open house is going to be but all i can say is this; every Deepavali open house i have been to has these two things in common
- The endless variety of cookies
- A dedicated angel who makes fresh hot thosai
It is a safe bet that the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER would be the person who makes fresh thosai and in my house that person is no other than my mother. The dedication these people have to serve food is next level. Every house I go to, most of the time, I see an Indian woman in her saree and she isn’t afraid of the heat the kitchen is gonna give her. Nothing will stop her from making the crunchiest thosai, topped with a good ghee and of course, all hail goes to the chicken curry that was made when the rest of us were asleep.
Regardless of how poetic I can try make this sound, it does not take away the fact that most of us with disordered eating will not be able to appreciate this. We struggle with our thoughts and this affects us a lot more than what people can see. This Deepavali, I urge everyone one of us to be a little more sensitive to one another. Please do not comment on a person’s food intake. It is none of our concern. We are adult enough to understand our own individual hunger cue. Of course, wastage isn’t cool
Slow down, enjoy the food and remember, more than the food, it is the company you are with that is the most important distinction for yourself.
I will not enable TOXIC gossip
Okay hear me out cause this one is super IMPORTANT. We all engage in gossip to different levels and I understand that no one is perfect. Instead of shaming these thoughts, embracing them is what alchemises these thoughts into something bigger.
I have noticed a common pattern in communication. The condescending tone will begin with a sense of pity person A will have for person B. Usually it is about a person’s physical appearance and financial status; and many other irrelevant distinctions one can make of another human being. At some point of my life, it made so much sense why I spoke that way.
What we project on people is merely a reflection of our thoughts about ourselves
Imagine this, you are at an open house, and there is music in the background, a jam tart on your plate accompanied with the other beautiful snacks, someone beside you starts talking about current issues. That is the best bet you have because talking about current issues is better for any of us than to take part in a bitch fest of how her neck looks empty and the colour of her outfit doesn’t MATCH her skin colour.
The best thing you can do is to be yourself and if it gets too much, the choice is always up to you to get up and leave. Do not be in a company that you are not comfortable with. Deepavali or not.
These promises I made for myself are sacred as they have altered how I function. I would hope that as much as your practise caution when you light up the fire cracker, hold that same space for your inner light. Because you have to
Let the LIGHT in your heart reflect in your soul
Have a safe and joyous Deepavali. Hold your loved ones closer and give thanks to all that comes with life.