My Mum & Sister are Here for Diwali 35


Yay! I’m so happy, my mum and youngest sister have arrived in India to celebrate Rohan’s first Diwali with us! We will also be having Rohan’s naming ceremony this week, so busy busy busy! It’s so lovely for Rohan (and my husband and I) to have so many family members around, which is rare if you find yourself in an international marriage.

Argh, I am just so excited! It feels like Christmas, and I guess Diwali comparable to Christmas. The biggest festival of the year and celebrated with family and fairy lights.

Our "they are finally here" selfie

Our “they are finally here” selfie

It’s one of the things you have to do at least once in your life, celebrate Diwali in India! I can’t wait for my mum and sister to experience the festival of light. My mum has always loved fireworks, I don’t think I can prepare her for how spectacular they are going to be. Diwali is magical, that’s the best adjective I can think of to describe it. Thousands of twinkling lights, from the pavements covered in diyas (clay oil lamps), to the sky full of sparkle.

The downside is the noise and the pollution, thanks to those fireworks. I will never forget Alfonso hiding in the pleats of my saree last year, scared of the booms and bangs (he is usually pretty fearless). The moments of dazzling joy, sadly leave a blanket of smoke, hovering eerily above the ground. Therefore, we are going to have to keeps Rohan inside, we’ve also bought him some baby ear protectors (US, UK, India).

 

Rohan wont’ be able to enjoy the fireworks (we are only ever spectators) but we are going to stock up on the fairy lights for the house, which he absolutely loves! It’s so lovely to have my mum and youngest sister here. I don’t even want to think about Diwali ending and their flights back to the U.K.

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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


35 thoughts on “My Mum & Sister are Here for Diwali

  • Justyna

    I still will be in Poland on Diwali, but can’t wait for next year to celebrate it. And i waiting for pictures on your blog, make a lot please! This ear protecting for kids are great (also on concerts), i hope Rohan will not be scared, i think its also somethng dificoult for kids like for dogs, because they don’t understand what is happening. Have a beautiful time with Mum and Sister!

  • Manju Modiyani

    This is s nice! Really happy for you guys being together. Sending lots of hugs and kisses for little Rohan. What a cutie!
    I usually feel depressed during the holiday season. Don’t know why but it has been happening since 7-8 years now.

  • Priya

    Diwali is an ecological nightmare…. Pollution, cheap firecrackers from China… It is not recommended to leave the house the following day. All these Indian festivals have been the victim of globalisation. Firecrackers have become accessible and poor people are not concerned about the environment. They want to experience what first world countries have, regardless of the consequences. Who wants diyas when they can have such brighter lights? Ecology is sadly a pursuit of richer people. The Indian higher class should show the way and stop being so over the top… They should be role models… But they are not. And they have millions of blind followers…

    • Jacky

      Agree. As a foreigner living in India I’m actually glad to be out of India this diwali – a break from the extra noise and pollution. In Delhi I saw how people would spend over a lakh on fireworks just to keep up appearances with their neighbors. Bangalore a little more humble in comparison. But the common thread in both cities is that no one bothers to clean up the street after the huge mess they create bursting crackers! Disgusting, entitled attitude to have, and that too by supposedly ‘educated’ people. Animals, especially birds, are harmed by all the fireworks. My Indian husband is not a fan of Diwali and our family generally does not celebrate outside of painting diyas with our daughter. We stay inside and try to keep our pet cats calm while waiting for the noise to pass! Not exactly a fun evening.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      It is such a shame, how ever much I love fireworks. We don’t let them off, there are already so many to see.

      I went to my mother-in-law’s village during one Diwali and that was something really special, not many fireworks but every home and shop was covered in clay diyas! Really breathtaking!

      Nagpur has a lot of diyas, similar to the village. I guess it hasn’t caught up with the likes of Bangalore and Delhi yet (some describe Nagpur as a village), and I hope it doesn’t in this respect. But still, the aftermath is sad and will be keeping Rohan and Alfonso inside for a while.

      I’m told by my family, every year there are fewer fireworks in Nagpur, I hope this is similar elsewhere!

      • friend

        @Lauren

        It is so much fun that you have your family at Diwali. I think Rohan can have fun with a few sparklers and other such harmless fireworks with an adult holding it in his/her hand at a distance. for a brief period. May be who knows, he might like the sparklers. Yes, diwali pollution is terrific, we must do something about it. The problem is we associate diwali with fireworks as far as we can remember. Guess we have to modify our festivals with the changing time. We have already done it with our rituals. There was a time when Hindu funeral rituals went on for days with people confined indoors. Now, with lack of time and other preoccupations, many have a shorter ritual.

        I went to Shirdi in 2014 on Diwali time and it was less noise and more diyas and rangoli. I have never seen so many diyas in my life. I guess that must have been the same was when Lord Rama came back to Ayodha and the people welcomed him with lighting diyas.

        I had my fill of crackers. There is a art of bursting crackers. You have to tear the paper on the fuse, remove the power, so that the the threads burn slowly and you have time to move away to a safe distance. At the end, Your fingers turn grayish black with the powder and the noise is deafening. You start to feel kind of tired and suffocated. So why grown up people burn those big bombs, I guess there is a boy in every man. The child in them jumps up “Oh, you can do it one more time”. Overtime I have given up on big bombs and concentrate more on sparklers which my son enjoys lot more. Earlier he was a little afraid but now he has started liking fireworks.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Eak I think Rohan will have to be at least 5 before i let him near a sparkler!

          Village Diwali did remind me of the Ramayana and definitely how it’s supposed to me.

          I hope there are less of the bombs this year for Rohan and Alfonso’s sake!

          • friend

            I know it is a bit premature thing right now, but if you think of a different name for Rohan in future, you may have to get the Birth Certificate changed, if it bears his name. My son’s birth certificate had the name which we thought about that time, but then we decided to change it. It was bit of complicated procedure, since he was born in a different city. In your case it would a different country altogether. I don’t know about UK laws about it. I hope I have not offended you, just that this thought came to my mind.

      • Jacky

        I got away to a quite part of Goa one year and you wouldn’t have even known it was diwali!

        Enjoy your time with your family, that’s so awesome that they are able to spend time with you in your home and take part in Rohan’s naming ceremony!

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Thank you so much! Yes, it’s really special they are here so we can celebrate with both sides of his family. I hope you have another quiet Diwali this year xx

  • Moira

    I’ve never experienced Diwali before, but your post is making me feel like it’s something I should try and do at some point! Happy festivities! 🙂

  • samrandomnumber

    This’ll be my third diwali in India. The first one I spent in a little village, sleeping on the floor of my not-in-laws house. That was quite magical, in spite of the discomfort (no bathrooms in the entire village at that time) – no fireworks apart from a few little crackers in the hands of some admittedly too-little kids. Just lots of diyas and nice food and people visiting one another’s homes and rangoli and blessings (the jeep I travelled in was given its own little puja on arrival). The second diwali I spent in town (a medium sized but very touristy town), and that was a bit less magical. I did enjoy the more spectacular fireworks but the crackers got old fast, and my nerves were shot at the end of it all. It was interesting seeing all the diwali themed good on sale though, and the heaps of diyas in the market, and I was staying in a quieter part of town where people did light diyas. I enjoyed the decorations as well. This year I’ve managed to develop an anxiety disorder and can’t tolerate unexpected noises, so it’s going to be hilarious. I’ve brought ear plugs. Still looking forward to the festive atmosphere though, and giving out gifts.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Those bombs without sparkle are such a problem. I really don’t see the point of them. Festival of light, not sound. I agree Diwali in a village in something really unique!

      I hope you enjoy this Diwali! As someone who has suffered with anxiety disorder, I know how you must be feeling. Maybe you can get some grown up ear defenders xx

      • friend

        @Lauren

        Thank god! I thought I offended you. First things first. Birth Certificate is an important document. Most of the time, people think about it when the child is about to be admitted in school. it is also the first identify document of the child that is why should be obtained at the earliest. In future too you may be needing it for all kinds of identify documents, especially passport. Just a humble question? did you obtain his birth certificate.

        I never meant you would think about changing his name

        These are just procedural matters but important none the less.

        No offense meant.

          • Luma

            Hello Lauren

            If you don’t mind my asking, I was wondering whether you chose to make Rohan an Indian citizen or a British citizen? I ask because I am going to be in a similar situation.

            Many thanks

        • samrandomnumber

          @friend In England and Wales you have to register a birth within 42 days, at which point you’re issued the birth certificate – it’s dealt with long before kids start school. I’ve also never encountered parents’ changing a child’s name after registration – usually it’s chosen before birth, though I’ve known people who’ve dithered right up to the 42 day boundary. I do know of someone in Rajasthan who changed his daughter’s name when she was seven. I don’t know if that was a legal change or just a casual one – no idea how it works. Is it common in parts of India to change a child’s name? Your query made me wonder. I’m also not sure how the little girl felt about it….

          • Bibi Maizoon

            I’m curious about how often Indian parents change their child’s name too. I know name changes are fairly common in Muslim Indian communities but I’ve not heard it done by any other religion.

  • Omkar

    Hearty Wishes for DIWALI to you and your family!! Yeah nice decision to have ear protectors for Rohan and keeping him and Alfonso inside in evening. Yeah Diwali is Festival of lights but people goes wrong here by associating those lights with Fireworks. A perfect Diwali is with Lanterns, Oil lamps and diyas not with crackers which goes above audible frequency of human beings. Yeah its truth that fireworks are getting fewer every year in Nagpur, there are some reasons behind it but at least it’s a good thing. In Mumbai (Bombay) the situation is similar like in Delhi. I remember the night of Lakshmipujan as I went out to drop our guest (my cousin) by bike, we were unable to breathe and in front there was so much smoke that I was unable to see beyond that to drive my bike and the area was Civil Lines (with so many trees). So my advice is never ever step out of the house on Eve of Diwali.🙂☺

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Eak! Happy Diwali!

      I’m interested to see what this year will be like, I’m excited to see the lamps light up the road because that is really special!

      My gosh, that sounds scary!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hi Anshuman! I would compare Guy Fawkes with Holika, not Diwali. It’s about bonfires and fireworks, the bonfires burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, like Holika or even Dussehra 🙂

  • VK

    Well all I can say is I really salute you and your family members in UK. You all have put enormous effort to try and adapt to the harsh conditions here and still manage to be positive about it..

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