"Try this outfit. It will suit you" urged mom.
"Nah! its too dull. I am too young to be wearing such boring colors." I protested.
"Just try it. We are not buying," mom added with a slightly higher pitch.
I go in the trial room whilst blowing the bangs on my forehead, and come out with a broad smile and a jubilant cheer, "I love it!"
Mom rolls her eyes as it trying to say, "Told ya!" but restraining the words more so cause that will start another round of arguments with a teen daughter, and she already had quite a few things on her plate this evening.
With the ring of the register, payment is done, and sale is final.
I wait up for my younger brother to decide on a shirt as I try to chip in my expert comments from the sidelines with a stare from my mom now and then to stop it.
Shopping is done!
Next stop, buying fresh flowers, and all the items needed for a puja.
We finally reach home, and it is late in the evening. Dad is already home, and after showing him our purchases, we are quick to gobble all the food laid out on the table. Shopping makes us hungry especially when the festival is around the corner, and yummy things are on the menu.
Next day came pretty early more so since that is the day all the shopping was all about.
Yes, it is Diwali. According to a teen, it is the festival of lights, fun, sweets and socializing, and a new attire.
Dressed up, and soon we were driving to my dad's office where my extended family would also meet up for the puja. This is called the Laxmi puja where the family prays for wealth, and prosperity, and what better place to worship for it than the location where work is conducted.
Puja was usually for adults while we kids played, mimicked on my dad's typewriters and calculators as if bringing in the dough.
Once the prayers were finished, food would be ordered from the nearby restaurants, and yes the kids could request anything they wanted.
We all used to hog, and try out everything in their menu. The vanilla milkshakes with ice-cream was my favorite, and I used to order it every time besides the new delicacies.
By the time, we would disperse from my dad's offices; it would be early evening, and then driving home for another prayer session while myself and my sibling lighting the diyas around the house. That was followed by bursting crackers since dinner was usually avoided after consuming so many extra calories.
I grew up with this scenario year after year.
Till date, I miss Diwali celebration since it involved my family, and it was a package deal with all the ingredients of a good celebration of any festival.
Was it the new clothes, the visit to my dad's office, the mimicking in his workplace, the order anything from the menu thing, the laughs and the giggles with all my cousins?
Could not yet figure out what enchanted me.
But on the day of Diwali, the above tradition is rewinded in my mind as I sit miles away from home, and it always gives me happiness to celebrate #GharWaliDiwali
Mantra for today: Some rituals that are repeated year after year can never become boring if they bring a smile.