When I moved to a new city for college, I had an idea that things will change but I didn't know they will change this much.
I was excited about my new-found independence and the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
However, after a few years of living the 'independent life', I have realized that it doesn't just keep giving; it also takes away many things.
And this realization came when I couldn't go home on Diwali this year; because it has become a luxury that you have to 'earn'.
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about my life but I just wish that visiting my family was easier than it is.
At least on the festivals, at least on Diwali.
I couldn't go home this Diwali and it just seems less bright and colorful.
The fairy lights outside people's houses make me miss my dad, who coils them up every Diwali hoping that they will work next year.
They never do, but he still hasn't given up on this habit.
The rangolis make me miss my brother, who, despite not knowing how to draw one, joins me every year and makes weird shapes that I have to correct.
And my mom, well, everything makes me miss her.
From food to shopping, from decorations to cleaning, everything.
Yeah, cleaning too. I used to crib and cry when she made me clean stuff at home but looking back, even that was something enjoyable.
Ever since I moved away from home, I have gotten used to seeing my parents' faces lighting up on seeing mine.
They don't make me do anything, they are just happy about the fact that I am home.
And food, do not even get me started on that.
My mom makes it her mission to make me gain 10 kilos in just 2 days.
Even though I have colleagues and friends who make my life so much happier, there is something about Diwali at home, that is irreplaceable.
I will hopefully go home, next year.