T he last of the fireworks have faded out and all that is left of the festive mood is a warm afterglow. The festival of lights to the young, also means a festival of sound, colour and merriment. But most college goers in the city did not exactly have a ‘cracker' of a Deepavali, thanks to early semester exams this year.
As Prema, a management student from Bishop Heber College says, the prospect of exams takes away from unalloyed celebrations. “There's always that tension in the air when its semester time. And though most of us had a three day break, we didn't go full blast this year.”
Most colleges also had to cancel on-campus celebrations, what with being in the middle of exams and the rains washing out their plans. And semester exams turn out to be veritable ‘swords of Damocles' for students who ‘discover' their books only at this time of the year.
“This year's Deepavali was shadowed by exams and the preceding practicals,” says S.Abirami, an engineering student. “I just went to the temple and celebrated with family.”
Low key and stay-at-home celebrations was the general picture this year for most girls, though as Bhavya Venkatesh from Holy Cross College points out, the extended weekend break turned out to be the perfect setting to catch up with school friends studying away from home.
“This is one festival when everyone comes back home to celebrate. There are other holidays of course when we get to meet friends who are scattered all over, but for Diwali, you can be sure that everyone is going to turn up.”
And there are of course ‘sticks and stones cannot break my bones', dyed-in-the-wool ‘celebrationists' like R.Shriprasan, a second year Mechanical Engineering student, for whom yearly rituals must be followed. Like for most college boys, crackers and a ‘first day, first show' movie are staple fare for him.
“A group of friends in our colony pooled our money together and bought some splendid fireworks. We had a riotous celebration and followed it with up first show of ‘Va Quarter Cutting', he grins.
But it was not all sound and fury for the boys, who managed to invest the celebrations with a lot of thought.
“From the money we pooled in, we got gifts for parents and delivered them personally on Deepavali morning,”
“And yes, Deepavali is also the time to go house-hopping, savouring the spread on offer at each home,” he adds with the typical well-fed glow.