A few days ago, I attended a birthday party of my 2-year-old nephew on Zoom. As expected, it was beautiful but chaotic. Most of the guests (their age ranged from 2-year-olds to 75-year-olds) were using Zoom for the first time. At least they hadn’t attended with so many participants. But it was the only way possible. Since it happened online, people who would ignore such parties, also joined in.
That is the basic premise of 2020. People are more connected than ever. We also realize that online is not the same as in-person.
This would be my 3rd time in 10 years away from my hometown when I am going to spend Diwali (the biggest festival for me and my family) in Bangalore. As I write this, it is raining here. I just switched off the lights which I installed outside. There’s hardly any noise of crackers this time. Out of say 50 houses, I see from my balcony, only 5 of them barely show any glitter which looks Diwali-worthy. A lot has happened this year already which has brought more gloom than glee. The picture outside doesn’t really help. And this is all compared to the usual hoopla the festival of Diwali is in Jaipur. If I say Jaipur is designed for Diwali, it won’t be an understatement. Most of the friends here have either left Bangalore or are staying far away.
We could have stayed gloomy and kept it dark. But we did step up and tried to do our bit. Again, I am not bursting crackers, but I did install some Lights outside, we bought dozens of Diyas and Candles, we are making some Diwali special dishes, prepping up to make rangoli, and doing everything possible to make it memorable. We won’t go outside as the pandemic is still not over. This time, we would celebrate it on Zoom. It would be chaotic, but it would still be beautiful. This might give another opportunity to connect with folks, with whom, it has been a long time no see situation.
Happy Diwali to everyone staying away from their homes! And by home, I mean people you care about. Let’s brighten things up!