Ruchi’s Fourth Diwali

Having celebrated Diwali in India last year, I thought Ruchi might have a disappointing Diwali this time. After all what is Diwali without Fire crackers (sparklers)? So to make her feel special, I decided to dress her up traditionally all day. When I asked her which of her outfits she wanted to wear, she chose the dress she wore last Diwali. For her that dress meant Diwali, so I let her wear it to school. She felt very proud and special. At school they got to learn a little more about Diwali, and they even made Diyas (oil lamps) during art class. After school when I went to pick up Ruchi, my friend Geeta informed me that a certain store was selling sparklers. I was so excited, that we stopped at the store and picked up five packs. As soon as Ruchi saw the packs, she remembered all the things she did last year, and couldn’t wait for it to get dark, so she could light her sparklers. As soon as we reached home, we started preparing for the evening puja. First we cleaned our yard and made colourful rangolis. Ruchi was very happy to play with a variety of colors. I let her make one rangoli all on her own, while I took care of the other two. After we were done, we washed up and changed into our new clothes, and then started preparing the prasad, while we got the Diyas ready. Since we told Ruchi she couldn’t light the diyas until sunset, she spent the next half an hour, asking if it was dark enough to light them. Finally when it was time, she was very excited to watch the room fill up with light while her dad lit one lamp at a time. Then after the puja, and a small prayer, we went from room to room showing the light to every corner. By now Ruchi was ready at the back door with her sparklers. We had to ask her to wait till we set the lamps all over the house, and front door. At last it was time to set the lamps on the rangolis, which meant time to light the sparklers. Ruchi had a marvelous time lighting one sparkler after another. Finally it felt like celebrating Diwali back home. And oh last but not the least, Ruchi got the full Diwali experience when she burnt her finger, when she touched the end of her sparkler that failed to light up. Poor thing, now she knows that if you put something on the fire, it heats up even if it doesn’t light up. Thankfully it was a very light burn, she did not let it stop her from enjoying the rest of the evening.

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