MY FIRST Deepavali celebration was in the TNB quarters in Bangsar almost 50 years ago. TNB was then known as the Central Electricity Board. There were no such thing as open house then, but we enjoyed the day as friends and neighbours gathered round for our share of muruku and other goodies.
The neighbourhood was always reminded that it's Deepavali as early as 5am when we are woken by the full blare of our neighbours' radio. Soon, my Indian friends would bring goodies in trays which we would have for breakfast. It was fun. I had this every year until my father was transferred out just before the '70s.
The kids in the neighbourhood would go house to house to visit and enjoy the bottled drinks - orange, sarsaparilla, Green Spot and whatever else were served. I suppose you could term it open house too, but not in the format that we see today.
After school, Deepavali was more exciting. Friends would gather and we would visit Puvi's family in Puchong and Raj's house in Brickfields. Raj has since died. May he rest in peace. Puvi later married Theresa and has settled down in Perth. I've not been able to get in touch with Tony though.
Puvi and Tony were my housemates and we would often go for supper - Tony on his Honda 350cc bike and Puvi on his Suzuki 250. It was fun and truly memorable. We learned much from each other.
Guys, wherever you are now - Happy Deepavali. The same greetings for all Malaysians!