As Diwali approaches, the usual preparations have begun! Starting with shopping of course :) Now both I and M don't like shopping and its the biggest biggest chore for us. With less than 4 days to go, its still not complete. This year we will not be able to go to our hometown in Odisha for Diwali celebrations. We are going to be in Pune and Shaurya will have his elder brother Sanskar to help in bursting crackers. (This will be the first Diwali that Sanskar will be away from bhaiya bhabhi, mummyji, papaji, dadi and Archi; I hope that he has fun and doesn't miss them too much! ).
M and I are no longer into bursting crackers and had totally stopped it. However post Shaurya's birth, we usually get a few so that he gets to enjoy this part of the festivity as well. Till last year, even Shaurya was happy with bursting few crackers on the main Diwali day. Everything changed last year, he has learnt the joy of bursting crackers. In our hometown, kids start bursting crackers a week before Diwali which continues till a week after Diwali. Shaurya had loads of fun last year bursting crackers at his maternal and paternal grandparents home. Even this year, he was looking forward to bursting crackers however last Friday he came home from school and told me that he has promised his ma'am that he will not be bursting crackers. Seems his class teachers have told the kids about Noise and Air pollution and how crackers are not good for our environment (Bless them!). Not sure if Shaurya will be strong enough to keep his promise... some moments he tells "I will not burst any".. and some moment he tells "I will burst only 3 - 1 chakri, 1 anar and 1 phuljhadi".. I guess his heart and mind are still fighting over it. Lets see what the kiddo finally does! :-)
I generally start preparing sweets and savories 2 days before and do it each day post dinner. Now that I work 3 days a week, I am hoping to start it tomorrow when my weekend officially starts.. yayyyyyyyyy!! :-) All the men in my in-laws side are big time into sweets; Shaurya specially loves Gulab Jamun and this is something that I make even if I am not able to make anything else. So with my weekend beginning tomorrow and Diwali falling on Sunday, I have a super hectic long weekend planned. Along with all the cooking, I will also be taking out all the decoration items (candles, LED lights, torans,etc) from previous years. We will also be making trips to the local market to buy fresh ingredients and flowers, clay diyas, puja essentials & gold jewelry for Dhanteras. Even though the festival turns out to be super hectic, it has a beautiful madness to it. You remain in a 'happy' zone during this time. Looking forward to making Rangoli outside my home, lighting beautiful diyas and eating to my heart's content! Not to forget, bursting crackers with Shaurya, Sanskar & M :-)