Happy Diwali! As you know by now, diwali is a multiple day affair with each day having a special significance. Today is chhoti diwali. I always and fondly remember this day with memories of sitting outside with Daddo, while we waited patiently for this gigantic diya to extinguish and I got to hear the most precious stories of her childhood. Not literally small diwali, but in contrast to the big day tomorrow, it is low key. However, by the sound of crackers (fireworks for the Americans in us ;) on the streets, it seems this festival of sounds (more than lights) began a few days ago! Today I got to talk with Paula and Matt from afar and we're so excited about our with together (https://soundcloud.com/school-from-scratch/episode-1-starting-from-scratch)!! Then, mummy, the masis, and I headed to the snack store! You've been here, so I loved when you said you could picture me there! I have procured many a yummies from there for us to snack on and share! Then after an absolutely delicious homemade Gujarati lunch, I retired for a perfect lazy afternoon nap. Here's where I want to share some memories and the untainted joy of listening to my mummy and her sisters, my masis, share memories of their childhood. It's fun watching these three sisters together, seeing old photos, and being regaled by stories of their parents, my nani and daddy. I have learned new information (or perhaps been reminded of old) about Nani's nickname Babu Ben, or Ba Ben for short. I also found out what Daddy liked to say after a satisfactory meal, but I don't know why he would utter this, "Vaalpapdi" phrase with sheer contentment. I got to eat this famed vaal (butter beans) too and it was totally something that after consuming I would exclaim with hearty satisfaction, "Vaalpapdi!". I also reflected on the fact that I've been visiting this house since I was a baby and it was in this house that we ate delicious food, watched our grandparents age, got dressed got countless navraatre celebrations in colorful ghaghara cholis, sat in the garden drinking strong ginger tea and now on the stone verandah with a glass a scotch, preformed ridiculous and spectacular plays for our family with cousins that were beyond hilarious especially for how seriously I took them, played (and won, not always by the most sincerest of means ; ) countless games of Pictionary, devoured on pieces of fudge, sat on the floor and had paanipuri eating contests, walked infinite times between my aunt and uncle's house and my grandparents house, and on and on. I look forward to getting together with my cousins and telling our kids these stories, just as my mom and aunts told us these today.
We ended this beautiful evening with an outstanding authentic Gujarati meal with endless courses and unending servings! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and sitting outside under the open sky listening to pretty music and distant crackers.
And I missed you.