It is Diwali the festival of lights and new beginnings. Diwali is also the time when all, rich and poor buy new clothes at least for their children. Needless to say we too have been busy wondering what to get little Agastya, the new member of our small family. After much thought and much window shopping one zeroed in on a dhoti kurta!
As I set about finding new clothes for my grandson my mind went back to Diwali few years back when little Utpal still lived with his mom, way before he went to boarding school. On that Diwali morning he came to see us all spruced in the brand new clothes his mom had bought him: pants, jacket and even a tie and to crown it all little cardboard lined shoes. I do not know why but he reminded me of a pastiche of little Lord Fauntleroy. It was all the mom could afford and yet she wanted her son to look his very best, at least for this special day. Needless to say I kept my little packet of new clothes for Utpal hidden. That Diwali was his mom's day.
Yes, Diwali is important to one and all. Every family tries to celebrate the festival to the best of its ability and make it as special as possible. It does not matter if the shoes are bought in a swanky mall or on a street market, it does matter if they are sturdy or lined with cardboard. On Diwali every child has the right to wear new shoes.
I do not why I remembered this small innocuous incident today. But I am glad I did. The sight of little Utpal on that morning was truly touching and precious, a memory I carry in my heart, one that makes every Diwali special.
Happy Diwali to all.