---by Nikhil Dedhia (Edupreneur, Entrepreneur and Trainer)   

Diwali is Such a Special Occasion in our lives, it’s just awesome.  It’s been a few years that I have started celebrating Diwali, it’s not that I didn’t know it or something happened in my life and I was not celebrating it.  But somehow celebrating Diwali was not a culture or tradition in our family.  We never bought special gifts, clothes etc. . in Diwali.  Many years back we do used to receive Diwali gifts in our (Wine Shop from the distributors or companies) but we never gave it to anyone.  We all were involved in cleaning home stuff and making some namkeens during Diwali, but definitely not celebrated the way it was meant to be.


When we were kids my dad used to be busy in business (shop or hotel) and there was practically no family time together or something like that and Diwali after Diwali, this was the routine.  Even when I grew up, got married, still the things were same.  And my wife, when she demanded some shopping, celebration etc. . it was not a done deal for me.  I was not comfortable with her demands, I just thought it is waste of time and money.  Also I had a philosophy that, other people celebrate because they don’t have other reasons to celebrate life.  This festival is the only way for people out there, to express their feelings and do some shopping.  Since I didn’t agree, there were sometimes some conflicts or arguments or sometimes I just used to go for a very budgeted shopping and that too reluctantly.


Then it happened that I shifted to Surat, and started  Sheetal Academy Institute of English Speaking in March 2010.  Till Dec 2011, 2 Diwalis passed by, in those 2 Diwalis, I used to come back to Dombivali to meet my family, as I used to live alone with my partner in Surat, I visited Dombivali every 2 or 3 months.  During these 2 years my view towards the Diwali festival gradually started changing.  I was eagerly waiting for this festival because it was this festival that gave me holidays and that too minimum 10 long days of HOLIDAYS.  I used to make plans that what things I will be doing, I started to think about everyone, for example, who likes what sweets and namkeens etc. .etc . . and bought those things and rushed to meet my family.  Still I was not interested in typical shopping stuff like buying clothes, things for home, or say buying gifts for near and dear ones.  In my early days too, when I was running a namkeen and dryfruits business in Dombivali, I used to give money(as gift) to my family members (as though not much).   So till now CELEBRATING Diwali in unique way didn’t appeal to me much.


In June 2012, when I got remarried to Shaila things started to change gradually. The next 2 Diwalis were in Kutch and Mumbai. But from 2014, Diwalis were different for me.  I used to get involved more and more in the rituals of Diwali.  It all started with bringing some new things for home and office and  buying gifts for Krisha and Kayra (niece).  And then in  Diwali of 2015, I did first official LAXMI PUJAN & Chopda Pujan (worshipping accounts books) in a 100% traditional way.  We even started visiting some of the friends on the New Years’ day.  Last year we did Diwali Specific Shopping of Clothes.  It was such a great fun, I hadn’t felt such ecstasy in my life earlier.  May be it might be quite common for many people.  But for me it started becoming a wonderful experience.  We started to make vivid plans for Diwali like what to do what not to do, which all nearby places we will be visiting, whom will be visiting on New Years’ day etc. .etc. .. Its just that words are not enough to express myself.  The whole atmosphere to celebrate Diwali sets 1 month in Advance. 


And this Diwali we all are super duper excited, because the family would be together in Surat.  This time the things are entirely different, we all are so excited to meet one another that since last 2-3 days we have been calling one another 2 to 3 times a day, asking and discussing about preparations, places to visit etc. .etc. .  We can feel the things in the air all the time.  We are so much crazy that while writing the blog my eyes have become wet.


I was never ever excited to meet everyone in my family so much.  Diwali is the only such festival that brings Family Closer, it makes you forget all the bitter things you had.  You feel like child again, when everyone used to celebrate and enjoy without having any prejudices, judgements, predefined attitude and all the dirty stuff against each other.  I remember my child hood days when I used to hold my brother’s hand while bursting crackers and all the masti and fun we had in Diwali.  Our hands used to be black with crackers’ powder and sometimes even face.  Our throat used to become hoarse by constantly shouting and inhaling crackers smoke. But we used to enjoy, as soon as it was dinner time, everyone sat together to have dinner and I would just wait to finish it, to run again and play with friends.  Mom would give us extra sweets to munch on, Dad would give money without any hesitation to buy crackers and grandma used to scold both Mom and Dad for spoiling us and wasting money after crackers. 


All these things started to disappear when we grew up and got busy in the work rituals.  Due to silly issues difference in opinion started to mount, slowly the Love and affection started to fade away.  We started to get consumed in this materialistic world.  Even the differences with parents started to grow.  But when I shifted to Surat, I started to realize the importance of family,  I missed them so badly that my difference of opinions started to fade away, (although it was not that quick) but definitely it worked.  And then it just disappeared so much that we all are again back to our childhood and are bonded more closer than ever before and more stronger than ever before. 


Had it not  been for Diwali, out differences would have kept on growing.  That’s why Diwali is of so much importance for me and I am always excited and waiting for it to come year after year, year after year.


I would request all of you to Sink Your Differences and Celebrate Diwali in the TRUE SENSE and Spread Love and Happiness within your family and near and dear ones.

---by Nikhil Dedhia (Edupreneur, Entrepreneur and Trainer)   

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