Today, on the eve of Diwali, it felt like Delhi was closer to home than ever before.
We don't celebrate Diwali in Cochin (hell, we barely celebrate Christmas). So when the PG was all decked up in lights and tassels, it felt really wonderful to be living in a house of just five and not one of those Kamla Nagar hostels. We're one of the few people that call our PG "home". It's not only because we have a whole flat to ourselves, but also because of the Mittals, our wardens.
Background on the Mittals: Uncle's a professor and DU big-shot and Aunty is.. aunty. And they can be very mean sometimes with night outs and late nights and what not. Over the last year though, it looks like they've gotten pretty fond of us. And vice versa, I must say. They do these things that normal wardens don't do. Like make sure everything is working in our house, and that there is a good helper to cook and clean, and that the food is made on time and a whole bunch of other things. Aunty checks on us during exam time and sends up everything from sweets to kulfi to pumpkin curry and poori. She also is instrumental in drilling nails into our walls for all our posters ("Drill four holes here for the white board also, beta!" I've never seen anyone so happy about drilling holes in their own house). She is excellent at hugging. Uncle laughs out loud enough to make you nervous. For an old guy; he's pretty tech savvy. He does these cute things like drop you at the metro when he sees you struggling with bags. He is also a good hugger, though sometimes those pats on my back hurt a tad bit.
Diya and I, being the cool people we are, decided to celebrate Diwali all on our own. We bought colours for rangoli and crackers. Aunty gave us these gold bobby-things to hang on our door. Heera, our helper, and the both of us went over to uncle and Aunty to ask them if we could draw a rangoli at their doorstep and they happily agreed. Aunty gave us atta for the white lines and tons of glue so none of it would fly away. I think she was a little skeptical about our ability to draw pretty things on the floor when we have had no prior experience. About fifteen minutes later she walks out to the door and sees us at work and beams. I am not kidding you, she said, "awesome!". I refrained from laughing out loud. She was so excited that she said, "It feels like a real Diwali now" about ten times. Not to mention, "Our house finally looks like it has children in it" and "Beta, put a little more purple over there". Uncle took over the directing after a while and watched over as our multi-coloured doodle came to life. That laugh was ringing all over the house every five minutes. It was a good kind of ringing, though. After an hour or so, we were done and for a free-hand rangoli, it looked pretty good. Aunty and Uncle took pictures and gave hugs. They treated us to delicious kulfi. They looked incredibly happy even though it was just a tiny party of their day. These little things do make differences, you know.
Tomorrow, we will burst crackers together like a family. And do puja. And share breakfast and dinner together. Just as if we are home. I suddenly wish I could stay longer.