I have always been afraid of the crackers, the loud noise and so much eye-blinding lights. That is why for me Diwali was just like another holiday, while my family celebrated it with all sort of fireworks available.

When I was in class 3, I once received a pamphlet duly signed by the then President of India, Late Shri K.R. Naayanan, that how the crackers are made by using a huge strength of child labour. It mentioned how buying the crackers motivated the cracker industry to employee more cheap labor in form of the child labour to increase their production. The pamphlet also shared the ill effect of the raw cracker material, the flash powder, on their skin and health. That moved me from within. Being just seven-year old, I realized I couldn't change how things were. But I knew that I could at least convince my family to not to buy and burn crackers.

Since then, at my home, we have stopped buying and burning crackers. Also, since then I have been on a mission of discouraging as many people as I could from the ostentatious display of lights, sounds and pollution.

Diwali is about decorating my house with beautiful lights, diyas, rangoli  and flowers. Diwali is more of the Kali Puja  for us because I am a bong. My dad keeps a fast on this auspicious day and spends the entire day sleeping. I guess that is much needed for he works 7- days a week all throughout the year. Me and my mom take this opportunity and have our lunch outside. Thus my mom gets a break from her daily cooking.

In the evening, we decorate our house with the marigold flowers and mango-leaves. I just love this beautiful combination of yellow and green. I make the customary rangoli. I might not be good at it, but yes, it gives me the immense pleasure of playing with colors! Then as the sunsets, we light the diyas and candles all around our place.

Further into the night, the Kali Puja takes place at the nearby Kali Bari. We go their so my father can break his fast. Then as a happy family we all feast on the khichdi that is offered to the Goddess.

My Diwali is pretty simple. But I love every bit of it. I have never spent any Diwali away from my home and I really hope I don't have to, in the future. I know what it is like to be with your family on Diwali. I cherish each and every moment of it.

The following advertisement just made me realize the importance of family even more. Although, I am thankfully not away from mom and dad, but it just made me see again that why they should be valued even more! Every li'l moment of happiness with them should be made to cherish, forever.

If you are away from your loved ones, send them out a heart warming wish at www.gharwalidiwali.com

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