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Happy Diwali 2020 - Deven Thakeria's beautiful reflection

Diwali message Deven Thakeria writes a beautiful short blog about what Diwali 2020 means for him. Wishing you all light, love and peace. 🙏🏾

Sal Mubarak The festival of lights, a day off school! Bow down for Baa’s blessing and pension savings. Sal Mubarak - the New Years greeting blared out through the crackle and delay in the phone to India.

Everyone here speaks to everyone there. Incense sticks and sweet treats permeate the passages like a nosy aunt. The sizzle and splutter of the fryer has now ceased. Ghugra, chevdo and ganthiya packed into evergreen biscuit tins. This is more than a crunchy snack known to many as ‘Bombay mix’; it's the voice of an unsung kitchen hero. Colourful outfits bundled into Ford escorts, Datson Cherrys and the doctor’s Benz. House to house visits, the hallway of shoes, adults in one room slurping chai, kids in the other, high on coke.

Finally, that aunt plucks out a warm crumpled fiver from the folds of her sari and squeezes it in my hand. I look at daddy, daddy says na na na na na. The drama begins. The rules are simple, look like you don’t want it, even when you do, and give it like you want to, even when you don’t. Darkness falls on the day of diva’s. Families and fireworks, bad boys and bass boxes. Ealing Road or Melton Road, flames ignite between teenage eyes.

That was then. Things change. Those wrinkled souls that kept us together have moved onto higher places. Families grow, families grow apart. Welcome the noughties, welcome diabetes. No sugar, no ghee. The chevdo warriors have put down their aprons, the labour of love defeated by convenience. Corona killed the house visits and messaging killed the phone calls. It's now in the hands of WhatsApp to gimme the light and pass the diva.

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