DIVALI Greetings to all! May my Hindu friends have a meaningful and enjoyable day with family, relatives and friends! Like all other Malaysian festivals, Deepavali is also a day of open house and merriment.
For almost 10 years during my teens, I celebrated Deepavali with my Indian neighbours without fail. Very early in the morning, my Hindu friends would wake up and switch on their radio blaring out songs intended to wake everyone up.
Periasamy and Apu would be among the firsts to send trays of cakes and goodies to my house. Since we all lived within earshot of each other, the Deepavali morning would inevitably be a rather noisy affair.
Later in the day, we would visit our friends and the usual bottled drinks of Mirinda, Green Spot and Sarsaparilla would fill the table and everyone would be joking and having a good time. It was fun.
There were no such thing as Deepavali angpow but everyone would be just happy to go from house to house enjoying the muruku and mutton curry. There were times when my Hindu neighbours would ask my mother to cook chicken curry and the dish would be served when Muslim friends drop by.
My late father too would make his Deepavali rounds. But more often than not, he would have to work and deputise for his Indian colleagues, and this would be reversed when we celebrate Hari Raya.
As our society become more sophisticated, the celebrations too become more organised. Some of the spontaneity are no longer there. I suppose this is inevitable as we take our time management more seriously and visits are more than just an outright social occassion.
To my childhood friends Rasathi (who married Leong), Apu, Periyasamy, Bala, Muthukaruppan, Yogarajah, Aya, Puvi, Raj and Sinniah, may you have the happiest of Deepavali! May you enjoy many more Deepavali in the future too!