I have never cared much for festivals. As it is we seem to have too many of them in India and hardly enough happiness all around to justify celebrating them with so much gusto. Of course, there's the other theory that festivals are the only way to break the cycle of normal life. In school or in college, normal life was just so interesting that all this hulla-baloo about festivals seemed childish! But since I have started working every reason for a holiday or a different kind of day seems really welcome.
But today was always different even on earlier occasions. Diwali, the festival of lights captured my imagination back when I was a kid and even today. The existence of Lord Ram and his return to Ayodhya is not a scientifically verifiable story, but at least it comes really handy to celebrate a grand festival. The crackers with their earth-shattering sounds and captivating colours, were the real attractions as a kid when all other nights were of the early-to-bed and early-to-rise kind. Now certain things like the immense smoke and disturbance that crackers cause to people who are really not into the mood of the festival and not to mention the fact that these crackers being made by young hands for whom the future is so dark and fatal put me off such celebrations, and prevent me from enjoying as much as I used to. I know all these considerations may sound so 'pseudo' in nature to those who don't know me so well but that's how I feel now.
But beyond the crackers, its what Diwali represents that really appeals to me. The symbolic victory of good over evil, though we all know in the real world the battle will probably never be final and complete. It restores a little faith in the hope that eventually at some point centuries or tens of centuries later, being good will pay off and for now keep up the struggle through the rough times that all good men have to face! The lamps all around casting their golden glow, the children's faces beaming with happiness and the general sense of bonhomie that is so rare. A light in the darkness, a imagery used ad nauseum, yet never ever losing its aura of frail yet somehow infinitely powerful beauty.