Life today, is nothing less than a battle-camp at the front lines, away from home; and so you may be missing more festivities than attending. Last minute call at work or flight unavailability; whatever maybe the reason, spending your favourite festival away from home shouldn’t completely sound the knell for you. You must try to find comfort and rejoice in the fact that this year you have new people to share the happiness of the festival with; your roommates.
You may or may not share the same cultural background or traditional inclinations with your roommates, and in case of the later, exposing your roommate to the fun side of the festivity makes it interesting for you and others. When your roommates faces the cultural differences, it will be a fun observation regardless of whether you introduce him to the coconut coir incense of Durga Puja or the splendid full moon on Eid. It may not be as fun as being around your folks (it may even be better in some cases) but will be a different experience for sure.
In the age of globalization, every festival gets celebrated in each corner of every country with a unique vigour and enthusiasm. Chances are, your festival is being celebrated somewhere in the city. Find that community on Facebook or meetup.com and it surely will be a refreshing feel for the potentially disheartened festival freak in you!
For every festivity, it is your mother’s home cooking that bestows upon the festival it’s finishing touch. This may not be feasibly possible when away but you can try your hand at creating a few of the delicacies. Make a quick call back home asking for the recipe or post a surprise picture of the end product on social media. The effort and experience alone will be worth it, and if the cooking does end on a sad note, locate a restaurant offering a menu attuned to the festival so that it is still a win win for everyone!
The key to bringing the festivity at your apartment is a little investment on some fresh and tasteful décor. Put up the tea lights, try a rangoli pattern at your door step, light incense. These add to the essence of the festival in your mind, besides being a charm of envy to your competition. Try wearing your regional clothes to workplace and encourage minor celebrations or atleast recognition of the festival. But either way, the attention it draws is sure to make you feel special on the special occasion. Give your favourite genre of music a rest and play local music from cultural and traditional sources to give it that final touch of elegance and feeling of completion.
Festivities, at the end of the day, are what you make of them. You may wish to create the aura of the festival in your room or just treat yourself at the mall. Spending them away from family might just feel lonely but do keep in mind that your folks are proud of you and your accomplishments regardless of whether or not you returned home for Diwali. For our happiness lies in the smiles of our loved ones, now pick up the telephone and call whoever you just thought of. Wishing you a happy festive season ahead.