For the first time perhaps in all these years, we as a family honoured our needs and ourselves and broke free from feelings of guilt and fear of breaking free from tradition....to celebrate ourselves and our precious moments together as a family.
It was Diwali - perhaps the King of all festivals in India - a time to be with family and friends; a time to share and give; a time to ring in the new and shed the old....a festival of light, love and joy.
Although our families are quite open in many things, including our decision to homeschool our child, these traditions of celebrating festivals together have been held sacrosanct; so much so that we have grown up with the fear of being disapproved and feeling of guilt of not discharging one's "duty" even, if we did not celebrate it together with the usual fanfare. All along we have succumbed to these feelings of guilt and fear and our inabilities to handle ourselves when others said things that hurt us.....and in the bargain, we have not asserted ourselves nor honoured our needs. For the first time this time, we actually broke free from these chains that we bound ourselves with...and celebrated and honoured ourselves, without feeling guilt. And wow, was it liberating!
It all started with Raghav wanting to be away from the noise during Diwali. He dislikes the firecrackers and so do I! The noise and smells unnerve us both. So we decided to go away to a quiet place where we could do our own thing. Our families were not too happy with our decision, but we did not give them a choice this time to control our lives. The difference this time, however, was the intention......our intention was not to defy them and tradition.......our intention was to be with ourselves and do what each of us enjoyed and felt happy about.....and that made a huge difference to how we felt and how they reacted too! Yes there were those questions as to whether we wore new clothes (!!), comments as to how we could get away from firecrackers in India, whether we woke up early on Diwali and so on....it is really funny how people try to control you and your life when you live in India, but forget everything when you live away in some other country - when they know that they have no way of controlling from here!
So yes, we did set ourselves free and did things that we wanted to and enjoyed- we caught up on sleep, or a book, listened to music, had our own Diwali show of music and dance in our room (Raghav's idea!), made our own holiday monkey platters, built with Lego, spent time together laughing and playing or just being, enjoyed walks and drives through the beautiful landscape, wrote poetry, sketched, dabbled in photography, ate heartily or just simply lazed around! Yes - we did celebrate the spirit of Diwali in our own way - we broke free from old thoughts and fears once again....giving way to new thoughts of being with ourselves and each other....celebrating our own light and love.....giving ourselves gifts that we had not done before.
Once again, I discovered parts of myself that were long forgotten and had gathered dust....I remembered the photo that I had taken there of some tiny plants that grew from crevices between rocks......and realised the power and the beauty of truly breaking free.....the true self cannot be chained for long....it has to break free someday, because it just has to be!
|My sketch of my husband|