Wish all of you a very Happy Diwali!! Some are celebrating it today. Some are celebrating it tomorrow. But the festivities have started. I have fond memories of Diwali from when I was younger.
When I was growing up, and I think even when most of you were growing up we did not know / care much about pollution. We played with patakas, anaar, phooljhadi, and rockets in all its glory. Diwali was about going out with my dad and shopping for fire crackers. My mother would make me wear jeans, shirt and a jacket so that I am fully covered and safe from blisters. I would want to dress up in a pretty lehenga with a dupatta like the older girls. I was scared of most patakas but I would watch my dad, brothers, neighbors burst it. I would scream and run away when they would burst it, then look back, laugh and clap. Jump around like a monkey. We would also go the roof of the house from where we could see the whole town lit up. We would never be able to use up everything we bought. So the leftover patakas would be used up in the days following Diwali. If there was a cricket match coming up in the next week, then even better use of the leftovers. For me, it was a consolation. I did not want the fun and the excitement to be over. Leftover patakas meant that there was something to look forward to.
I don’t know what growing up does to you! No excitement for anything! Unhappiness, dissatisfaction, non-fulfillment, loneliness, bitterness, jealousy, regret!
Diwali is a celebration of victory and winning over demons. But what about our inner demons? Aren’t they the most difficult to conquer?
If you ever want to tame your inner demons, you must consciously choose never to become too attached to any particular life plan – and always remain open to the idea that there might be an even better life plan for you. – Karen Salmansohn
I woke up feeling a sense of emptiness. It is hard to describe it. It is not the same as sadness. When you are sad, you at least manage to cry. When you are angry, you yell or be rude to someone. But it’s not that. It is a feeling of nothingness. It just is. It is the fear of not knowing how you may feel the next moment yet trying hard to control it. It is trying not to break up. As if you are a balloon that can burst any moment. There are so many triggers. It cannot be explained.
Me: Life is beautiful. Life is full of surprises. I should be positive.
Inner demon: Life is beautiful. Yours is not! You have nothing.
Me: Hey, can’t say nothing! I am doing alright.
Inner demon: It depends what alright means! In your case it means just surviving!
Me: I am very grateful. There are people around me dealing with so much more!
Inner demon: Like who? The ones who are earning more than you? The ones who have a family? The ones who are on vacation in some pretty place enjoying while you sit here writing some bitter piece which no one will even read! Hahha!
Me: We should never compare our life with others’.
Inner demon: Then let’s compare your life now with this time last year! Last Diwali you were so happy. You know why. This year started out well for you too. You had high hopes. You were doing well. But now? Nothing that you had planned for yourself turned out the way you wanted. And I think this is how it will be for you from now on. Worse and worse..
Inner demon was winning. I texted a friend. She is always understanding. She asked me to cheer up. She said I should meet her in the evening. But I knew that was not the solution. I would be okay when I meet her. But once I am back, it would be just me and inner demon.
I was sure I would break down. I was sure I would have an outburst. I felt helpless. Like my thoughts are not in my control. My emotions are not in my control. And ofcourse life is not in my control.
Then something happened. I thought of what I had written a few days back. Don’t underestimate the power of little things in life. Little moments of joy help in healing. Be greedy and grab them all. When you laugh you laugh. It does not matter if you were sad a moment before.
I decided to distract myself.
- Saw a KFC styled chicken recipe on youtube and made it. (It was awesome)
- Watched a movie on Netflix – The Invisible Guest. It was in Spanish with subtitles. Crisp and gripping thriller.
- Tried out some tests online for improving my English. Brushed up on some mathematical concepts. Nothing helps heal like learning new things. It makes you humble. There is so much to learn!!
- My domestic helper wore glasses for the first time today. I was surprised. She claimed that she always had it. She does not bother wearing it because she wants to look pretty. I teased her that no wonder her work is so bad! She cannot see dust and dirt! She laughed too. She made the Rangoli outside the house.
- I took a picture of the Rangoli and sent it to my sister. Also sent to her a picture of my homemade KFC chicken.
- Searched Halloween costumes online for my niece. Have shortlisted some. Will talk to her soon.
- Got a call from an old friend. Shared a lame joke.
None of the above involved doing anything drastic. But I am feeling good. More importantly, feeling in charge of my emotions. There is no outburst. No breaking down.
I have beaten the inner demon. She may be there. But it is my choice whether I listen to her or not. I am not her slave…
It is indeed a Happy Diwali! It is a victory of me over my inner demons. Wish you all the same!
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
– Lord Buddha
© 2017, Tanvi Sinha. All rights reserved.