"Woof woof", my dog, Cooper came over and cuddled up beside me
on my bed. It was 6 am, and I was still dreaming about my upcoming
Diwali celebrations. Just then my mum called, "Manan! Get up!
You'll be late for school." Reluctantly, I got up and started
getting ready for school. Friends, before moving further, let me
introduce myself. My name is Manan, I study in std 6 and, this is
Of all the festivals, Diwali is my favorite. Do you know why?
Because of the colors, firecrackers, food delicacies, and holidays
it brings along with it.
As I was leaving for school, my dad called out, "Manan! Do you
want to go buy firecrackers today?"
"Hurray!!" I screamed with joy. "Yes dad! I already
have my list ready."
Feeling excited, I boarded the school bus.I felt restless
throughout the day at school. I kept looking at my watch, and
thought, "When is the bell for home time going to ring?"
Finally, it was evening! I was playing in the society compound
when Dad entered the main gate. He had come home earlier than
usual. I followed him inside the house and as soon as he'd finished
having his tea and snacks, I asked him, "Dad! Shall we go to the
market? I am ready!"
"Yes beta!! Let's go!" answered dad.
Once at the market, I quickly collected everything that was on
my list and walked out with my bag full of a variety of
I was looking
at the shops displaying brightly colored diyas, lamps, candles and
decoration streamers when suddenly, thud! down fell my bag, as I
bumped into a young boy. Lo and behold! All my firecrackers
scattered out of the bag!
I quickly bent down to pick up the firecrackers. I noticed the
expression of wonder and amazement on the young boy's face as he
stared at my fireworks. It appeared as though he had never seen
them this closely. He bent down to pick up myanaarsandchakkaras.
Feeling insecure, I snatched them from him and quickly put them
back in my bag. As I stood there looking at him, I realized there
was something different about this boy. His clothes were tattered;
he had bruises on his hands and legs and looked as though he had
not eaten in a few days.
"Manan! Hurry up! It's time to go!" my dad shouted, waving at
"Yes! Dad! Here I come!"
On reaching home, I gobbled down my dinner and ran out to burst
the firecrackers with Cooper by my side. "Hey Cooper! Watch out!" I
called out, as I lit my firstanaar(flower pot). I was
mesmerized by the variety of colors that burst open from the
firecracker and lit up the sky, but my wonder was short lived.
"Yelp! Yelp!" whimpered Cooper and disappeared indoors. Perhaps, it
was the firecracker's sound that had scared him. I also noticed
that my grandfather had gone inside the house coughing. Wondering
why, I looked around and noticed all the smoke that may have been
irritating his throat. Feeling bad for only a second, I continued
lighting the firecrackers one after another. But, inside me, it
felt different - I felt guilty about taking pleasure from bursting
I could feel my conscience pricking me, "Manan! How can you do
this? It hardly takes a few minutes andpoof!all the money
disappears in smoke. Whereas the boy you met today, he looked like
he did not even have the basic necessities of life. Didn't you see
how your firecrackers have scared Cooper and affected grandpa too?
Can you still ignore these things and indulge in this kind of
Realizing the worthlessness of this temporary pleasure, I really
wanted to use the money in a more rewarding way. I started thinking
about alternate ways to celebrate Diwali. I went up to my
grandpa and narrated the whole experience to him.
"Beta, I feel so proud of you! And, I really appreciate your
thoughtfulness for celebrating 'Diwali with a Difference'," grandpa
said, with a pat on my shoulder.
"Dadaji, can we go to an orphanage and celebrate the festival
there with those kids?" I asked him.
"Wonderful, Manan! That's a brilliant idea! Let us share this
idea with your parents and go there together."
Later that day, we discussed the idea with my mum and dad, who
at once agreed to become a part of this 'Diwali with a Difference'
mission with us.
After some research, we decided to visit, "Happy Home" to
celebrate Diwali with the children living there. Finally, on Diwali
we arrived there with cake, sweets, games, and gifts for
Soon enough, the place was filled with laughter, joy, bliss and
celebration. The innocent children were having a great time singing
songs, sharing stories, cracking jokes, and playing games. Just
then, one of the kids walked up to me and said, "Bhaiyya, thank you
so much! We've never had so much fun before. You've really made
this Diwali 'different' for all of us."
Feeling satisfied from within, I looked at Cooper who was also
enjoying in his own way with everyone. Even before we realized, it
was already time for us to leave. We said our 'goodbyes' to them,
promising to come back again very soon.
This was indeed the best Diwali celebrated so far!
: Related link
Article on Diwali
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