This year, I didn’t go home for Diwali, because it coincided with my study holidays for my third semester examinations.
I didn’t feel that it was worth lugging all my books 360 kms and then lug them back. What’s worse, I probably wouldn’t even put them to proper use there!
It is true that I would have had better food and better care there. Maybe I would be better motivated to study there with my family there. But I believe I’ve effectively outgrown that advantage. My parents aren’t on my toes anymore, they don’t urge me to study or reprimand me if they find me wasting time. They give me an ‘adult’ treatment – after all, I won’t even be a teen next year! This ‘adult’ treatment – that I, like so many early teens, so greatly desired – now seems very unwelcome and cold!
Anyway, Diwali has come and will go, and I’m not home to see the fireworks light up the night sky from my apartment’s terrace as I always do. I do not regret not going home, but I question my choice of not going. After all, I haven’t utilised the entire holiday studying. Countless hours have gone down the drain in doing things that could be done at other times.
So I believe that ‘study holidays’ are themselves at fault. The term is oxymoronic! Studying and holidaying are never meant to be done together! I probably would not have studied any more at home than here or any less here than I would have at home!
Anyway, SASTRA University, being the torchbearer in encouraging our culture and traditions, provided an authentic Diwali experience sans the fireworks. At 5 in the morning, they provided hot water, sesame oil and other necessary commodities for students. The menu for the day included six sweets (a lot, no really, a LOT for a hostel!) throughout the day. Even the ‘legiyam’, one that is synonymous with Diwali itself, was provided!
Sadly though, I was one of the very few Tamil students who had not gone home. Even including the other state students, I reckon there were only 200 of us here. I came to know that only Tamil Nadu celebrates Diwali today, the rest of the country celebrates it tomorrow! So the festive mood was quite amiss here. It was quite queer, I was wearing the traditional dhoti and everyone was quite surprised. Why wouldn’t they be? The festival is tomorrow for them!
Anyway, it was an interesting experience. Let’s hope I won’t choose to do the same again!