Last year, our writer Sheela Lal shared her experience in India during Diwali, the festival of lights:
“My senses are on edge. I run to avoid the sparks from the lit gunpowder hitting my skin. Flashing lights pop out against the deep black sky, which makes venturing outside a detriment to my eyesight. There are rumblings similar to thunder, and louder roars that follow, creating a calming sensation. Then there are sudden crashes that cause me to jump out of bed, and create momentary deafness.
I’m not in a war zone. Just in a densely populated area of Hyderabad, India celebrating Diwali.
This is the festival of lights; lighting diyas and setting off firecrackers are the norm. When I was younger, my family would go to larger community events and partake in fireworks, but now, instead we keep it a small family affair. We light tea candles and line our deck and driveway with them; we decorate the porch with untimely Christmas lights. Fireworks don’t make an appearance.
Nighttime is when Diwali celebrations truly begin. People flooded the streets. Lights decorated buildings, and momentarily I thought I was in an American metropolis, rather than the suburbs of a sprawling Indian city. Firecrackers upgraded from sparklers to bombs and explosions of multicolored lights sprinkled around.”
For many Brown Girls, Diwali has a very special meaning and conjures up stories with family, friends, lots of food, and of course lights!
What was your favorite Diwali memory?
To encourage you to share your story, American Express is giving away FIVE $50 dollar American Express Diwali Gift Cards! Just post your story below! Don’t forget to include your email address so that we can contact you if we choose your story (your email addy won’t show up to the public).