Ever since we were kids, Diwali has been the festival we've always looked forward to. Gifts, sweets, diyas, crackers, family... it's a time of happiness and celebration. Every Diwali, every single year...
Cut to the present: and here I am sitting in my office, working. Admit it, for some of us, festivals don't always mean holidays. And if you're reading this article, chances are that you are also one of those unlucky souls!
Some of us have sold our souls to capitalism. We're corporate slaves and we find ourselves sitting at our office desk and staring into our laptops, even on Diwali.
After years of celebrating Diwali as a holiday, you’ve been told to report to office and let go of your understanding of Diwali. It's not just a festival but a feeling as well. And all of a sudden capitalism hits you smack in the face and here you are, meeting targets and deadlines like it’s any other regular day.
Now the worst part isn’t that you have to work, but everyone around you seems to be intent on reminding you of the fun they’re having which also reminds you of how you don’t have a life because you’ve clearly sold it to the corporate bosses.
Guess who won't be attending a card party this year?
Stepping out of the house and seeing no traffic would be great on any day. But on the Diwali weekend, it reminds you of how everyone is going to wake up late and go on to live a social life while….well, you’ll be playing keyboard ninja on your laptop because you’re completing work.
The realization may hit you harder as you enter the metro (which is crowded because even Diwali can’t change that). You’ll try to find enough space for at least one foot and hear people talking about all their elaborate plans. People are deciding between ADHM and Shivaaay and here you are, as always, trying to get to work on time.
Most of them will be going for shopping and then visiting a cards party. But you don’t care because you have work. (Which for your own peace of mind, you’d like to believe is world altering)
You made it to office? Congratulations to your strong will power for not giving up. But the only people you’ll find there are probably the office guards and if you’re lucky, a pantry worker. At this point of time, you probably feel sad because you’ve always taken their services for granted and only now understand their dilemma. It’s either Diwali or your job.
Now couple all this with working like you do on a regular day. Your profession and idea of success forces you to treat Diwali like a regular day which it isn’t. Add to that your buzzing phone and various WhatsApp images on the family group of your house decorated with the prettiest lights.
Add to these images, all the messages by friends making plans for parties and afterparties. An anxiety attack strikes you. You don’t want to see their photos which also they're bound to share. You don't want to see all these people having fun. But you’re also on snapchat and you’re resisting the urge to check one of your friends’ snap story. The internet makes life cruel, doesn’t it?
By the time you’re done, you just want to get home and order a pizza but hey, you see people on the roads and there’s traffic. People are rushing towards metro stations and booking cabs. They’re all decked up and pretty. It’s because they’re going to parties. The only kind of party you can go to is a Halloween party, dressed up as a corporate slave. Now, you have a couple of invitations. In fact, your mother called to ask if you could make it to the Diwali party at your own house.
You’ve made up your mind and decide on going back home to uncles and aunties and their mind-numbing questions about your salary and marriage plans. But by the time you reach back home, you just want to get on your bed, watch some Netflix and sleep.