Children

Something’s amiss

Illustration: Sahil Upalekar  

Deepavali is here and, to be honest, I’m not feeling very festive.

Usually, in the week before Deepavali, there’s this huge build up. We have a class party. We get invited to friends’ houses for parties where we’re allowed to stay up as late as the grown ups and drink fizzy drinks. We pack our bags and plan our trip to Chennai where we get to see our grandparents and cousins and the streeties who live near them. I’d get through the week at school, knowing that soon I’d be chilling with my cousins, eating more sweets than my stomach can manage, and watching Jord Indian videos.

Same old

This year, the run-up to Deepavali felt like more of the same. The same online school. The same Fortnite Team Rumble. The same social distancing basketball in the evening (don’t ask! Only four people on the court). Basically, this past week has been exactly the same as all the weeks before it and I’m pretty sure that all the weeks that follow will be exactly the same too.

I know I sound spoilt and whiney, okay? How do I know this? Well, I was told off by… wait for it… myself.

Let’s be honest, there’s only SO much of a pity party you can throw yourself. Mostly because the only person at the pity party is yourself. And since you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you’re not a lot of fun.

So after much ‘self-introspection’ (I’d explain it if I could but it would take too much time, so go look it up!) I decided if my Deepavali was going to be a bummer, there was no reason someone else’s had to be too.

The Pesky Brother was doing a bunch of learning kits for his Social Outreach Project at school. Basically, a box of stuff that he’d made with things to help kids learn Math and English. What a fun gift to receive in time for Deepavali! Well, I decided to add something really fun to the boxes. So I got my friends from the building together, and we each had to find one thing that we liked — no, loved — and that was in good shape and wasn’t broken or torn or covered in dog fur to add to these boxes.

We managed to pool together comic books, graphic novels, Hot Wheels in mint condition and UNO cards. We then distributed them across the boxes and added a handmade Deepavali card.

I know it sounds super sappy but, even though I may have a boring Deepavali this year, it made me happy thinking that someone would get a teeny tiny surprise on the day that would brighten up an otherwise boring learning kit.

Guess what? In all the planning and finding and distributing of these small gifts, my otherwise boring every day schedule felt a little bit different and a little less boring.

Hope you have a fun Deepavali. Hang in there, folks. Just two more months for this sucky year to end.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:13:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/somethings-amiss/article33063186.ece

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