It’s a woman who a festival feel like one. In her regular life, she is the one who gets up before everyone else and starts her routine by serving tea to her family and milk to her little ones. On a festival, she gets up even earlier. If she is a working women, then the case is far too tiresome to even discuss. So, she gets up a little earlier than ususal on a festival and starts prepping herself and the kitchen for a hectic day ahead.
The preparations of the festival start a few days earlier because if she would ask the milkman to deliver three extra liters of milk on the day of diwali or dussera, he would refuse. So, it’s a planned succession of events which lead her to the day of the main event. She would take a shower and make herself available to her children’s needs, her husbands demands and the in time cleaning process of her house. Apart from regular food, she would cook sweets for the entire festive season, she would cook munchies which her family would need when they will sit together and chat. The regular food also a little complicated because it’s Diwali after all. It’s special.
After starting the day at four in the morning, she would get out of the kitchen at four in the afternoon. Coated in layers of oil and sweat. It’s almost like the day has ended for her but noooo. There is more to come. Like all Hindu festivals, she is asked to fast on every major day. Be it Diwali, Teej, Karwa cahuth, Vat savitri or holi. With butterflies flying in her own stomach, she cooks food for everyone. And she gets to eat when either the moon comes up or the stars or the sun has set.
It’s not like I don’t enjoy the different variety of foods on festivals. My maa made festivals feel like festivals because of her pooja and the delicacies she prepared. Today I am questioning her right to festival. Is she not entitled to have a festival like we do? The care free mornings, the constant munching on food and the no pre drafted schedule to pray. Well, in this case a question arises. Who would cook the food which the entire family enjoys? The answer is hidden in the question itself. Since it would be a family who would enjoy, it should be the family who should participate in making it a festival too. The cooking, cleaning, praying and every single bit of it which makes it feel like Diwali.
This Diwali let’s just not pray to the idol of Laxmi. Let’s pray to the Laxmi who resides in our homes too. Make her feel that she is the axis around whom our family is woven. Help her in cooking those delicacies you all enjoy, help her in arranging the decoration, help her in cleaning all the corners of the house. It won’t matter if the rangoli would be a little hay way and not perfect, it would be special to her if you would make it. Light up her face by gifting her this festival.