Things I Remember

November 20, 2011
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Every November the Festival of Lights comes around. Diwali is a joyous celebration, intended to celebrate the new year. My earliest memories of this festival are at a friend's house. At Nandini Maushi's, the house is packed with people. The men are in the room with the flat-screen TV watching sports, drinking wine and discussing politics. The women are in the kitchen, gossip leaking through the ivory-paneled walls above the scent of warm tandoori chicken and samosas frying on the grill. We children, aged four through twenty-three, numbering far over twenty, have been together all out lives. We are not inside the huge house, smelling of spices and incense. We are outside on the dew-laden grass. Night has fallen. A game of cricket goes on, with much shouting, both cheers and swears. And then the adults come. We light sparklers and firecrackers, screaming and laughing. Colored smoke wafts amongst the people, mysterious against the dark sky with a smattering of diamond-like stars. This has shaped me, my love of my culture, and my people. It has made me value not only people's similarities, but also their differences.

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