That was the Diwali of 1993. Many a Diwali went by, and it was quite a while later that I started noticing a pattern.. Diwali brought me gifts. Diwali is my personal Santa Claus! wow! Ok, sometimes Diwali misses the bus (in lieu of KSRTC bus strikes I presume), but most of the times I get my gifts alright. Though they don't come packed in glossy wrappers and left thoughtfully under a fancy Christmas tree. Mine come in the form of a travel ticket, mostly. A change of scene. The triggers vary. For instance,
The decision to move to Bangalore, and a box of assorted experiences in the land of 'swalpa adjust maadi', which literally transformed the naive me.
The offer letter from Quark in Chandigarh in my inbox, which got me all excited about the sarson ke khet I've seen in DDLJ. Too bad I never got to sing songs and do balle balle in those fields, but I had 1st hand experience of big time office politics and myth busters like the great Punjabi hospitality (pfft..). On the upside, I rented an apartment on my own, started cooking my own food, made a bunch of friends who are such sweethearts, and simply put, kick started a brand new life.
The offer letter from Sun Microsystems in Bangalore in my inbox by the next Diwali, which had me jumping all over the place. The Sis joined me there right after school which made it all the more sweet.
A short notice from the landlord to vacate the place in a month's time, which led us (the Sis and me) to move into a much better place, and a better life.
The next few Diwalis were pretty much nondescript. Life during that phase was a running through rough weather as well.. and then a couple of years back, I got a post-dated Diwali gift. I got my ticket to get back to school. IIT Madras happened.
By the next Diwali, I was almost at the brink of calling it quits, but I had nothing better to do with myself anyways, so I decided to hang on, and see where it goes. Quitting was a false 'gift alarm' of moving to some other place. Because, a month later I got my tickets to go spend a month in the beautiful Thailand, with family at the Sis' superawesome new pad. Life has been upbeat since then. Good grades, a neat 2 months in Bangalore again for internship followed by a couple of weeks in Bangkok again, more shopping, and back to school for even better grades. Tadaa!!
This Diwali, my gift says that I'll be spending the first half of next year in Europe! I am going to Germany on a student exchange program for 4 months, which will be followed by the much awaited Eurotrip. I'm so excited that in spite of the whole gamut of bureaucracy, paperwork, money transfers (it's self financed), the end semester presentations, exams AND the pressure of Placements happening in a couple of week's time, I'm busy google-ing about my new abode.
I managed to book a nice little apartment in a student hostel, which is a bit away from the University. Now that the curiosity about the new school has subsided, I'm all into getting to know more about the hostel. And guess what I found out? The hostel campus I'll be moving into used to be the Army barracks a long time back! It scared the bejeezus out of me! But on second thoughts, Gawd, I get to live in a place seeped in history. How cool is that! I just hope to God that there are no gathi kittaa prethams around there! especially since my German isn't that great. Shucks! I shouldn't have skipped that many lectures during the Deutsche course. :/ whatevs!
I love Diwali. I hope you love celebrating yours too.
It's a belated wish, but here's a shout out to the world for a bright, colorful, sparkling, sweet time!