Sunday, December 23, 2007

Continuing Traditions---Sunday Scribblings/Cafe Writing

For me, Diwali holds beautiful memories. It is the festival of lights. We celebrate it by lighting up the surroundings. Tiny Earthen lamps are used for this purpose. More of a ritual, I think. Gifts and sweets exchanged and of course, it is never complete without bursting crackers.

However, it is not same since my dad passed away. I remember he was the most enthusiastic of us all. He was not much into gift –giving. He left it for my mom. Nevertheless, he used to get us the best of crackers. He taught me about wiring, holders and bulbs when I was barely 7 years old. I was always tagging along and he had no other option. He and I used to put up the lights together until he was gone.

After him, I did not feel like continuing the tradition. Somehow, on the eve of Diwali in the year, he was gone; I got out all the lights and sat down to check each one before putting those up. My brothers and their families were due to arrive at anytime. My mom looked at what I was doing. Without a word, she sat down with me. I checked the holders, wiring and bulbs. Mechanically repairing where there was a disconnection.

I put those lights, switched those on after plugging it. When the whole place lit up, I felt that my dad was there and as usual, I was helping him putting those up. All was done before my brothers arrived. I need not tell you their reaction other than that they hugged me!

My dad is gone. Not his memories. When I put up those lights each Diwali, I feel so much closer to him. I know he would have been proud of me. I did not let what he had taught me die away. I kept right on. I even give out money to all my nephews and nieces along with the gifts I get for them. My dad used to give them cash not knowing what to buy for them. I have to carry on what he used to do.

What I write here are not holiday memories or traditions. They are part of our lives, our living. I have to keep the memories alive for the kids. I do it as best I can.
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Option Five: Timed writing for Cafe Writing for December Project.

20 comments:

Becca said...

It is so important to keep those family traditions alive, even though changes in the family itself sometimes make us want to give them up.

I loved this post - it spoke to me very clearly.

Your Diwali celebrations sound lovely:)

Robin said...

What a beautiful, touching story.

That's how memories live on, by keeping them alive for each new generation. I'll bet your father would have liked it very much.

arboleda said...

intimate memories of a family are universal and surpass tradition

Linda said...

The layering of traditions from one generation to the next is so important! Your dad would be proud!

floots said...

you do it well
and share both the tradition and the emotion with us
thank you
best wishes

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow, Gautami. That's a lovely story. You've touched me deeply today.

Keep on putting those lights up. It's not just for the kids -- it's for you, too.

hummingbunny said...

Thanks for sharing part of your life's story Gautami. It's nice that you have such a connection to your father and can continue with the lights.

Jennifer Hicks said...

Very powerful. Good for you for carrying on and letting the light shine on.

Betty C. said...

That is a beautiful post about carrying on through sadness...thanks for sharing it.

Betty C. said...

Somehow I don't understand the URL field...I want to be a click away, so am recommenting!

polona said...

beautiful touching memory... thank you for sharing.

i wish you and yours happy holidays!

Herb Urban said...

This is a very touching post, Gautami. In Jewish tradition we light candles of remembrance to celebrate the memory of loved ones no longer with us. Although, I am not particularly religious, it is a tradition I honor faithfully each year.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to honor your dad.... carry on the tradition!

Great post, thanks for sharing!

Dee
http://pavinganewroad.wordpress.com/

sister AE said...

Holidays certainly get more complicated as we grow older as our simple joys are balanced with the other experiences we bring to each season.

I wrote about my dad this weekend, too.

sister AE
at
Having Writ

Kamsin said...

Great memories! The lights are one of my favourite things about Christmas celebrations here in the UK! Diwali however sounds divine!

indigo said...

Your father taught you his traditions and now they are yours, you're carrying them on to the other children in your family. That's the best way to keep your father's spirit and love alive.

Lovely post...here from Michele.

Happy holidays and have a great new year!

dsnake1 said...

this is so touching, gautami. a beautiful post.

"They are part of our lives, our living." : this sums it up.

sage said...

Nice memories and thanks for sharing about your traditions.

LittleWing said...

the threads that bind us together....so very beautiful...

tumblewords said...

Oh, good for you! Touching and tender post!