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This Diwali, Have You Forgotten To Celebrate Something Important?

arathi menon column 28  diwali celebrate something important
First Published Oct 29, 2016, 5:05 AM IST

It is that time of the year when the victory of good over evil is captured in the wick of a lamp and when the conquest of hope over despair is advertised through a fire-spitting rocket aimed at the crackling skies. You celebrate by lighting diyas, wearing shimmery stuff, gorging on extra-ghee fuelled sweets, planning happiness with friends and creating memories with family. But have you paused for a second and thought about celebrating yourself?


Have you sat down and realised that no matter where you are in life now, you have actually come this far? You have surmounted all those obstacles that were doggedly chasing you a year ago, five years ago, and emerged a stronger and better person?


I am not talking about being a megalomaniac and telling everybody you meet how wonderful you are. That is only justified if you are standing for the presidential election. I am speaking about giving yourself the credit you deserve.


I always thought of myself as the problem daughter, the one who couldn’t sit in a box of rules and had to keep jumping out, stubbing her toe on unseen obstacles. Six months ago, my mother was talking about something and she casually mentioned, ‘I have you as my support system.’ I almost fainted. Me? Really? Are you sure? I thought back and realised I had backed and encouraged every single decision of hers. I had just forgotten about it.


If we make an effort we will remember the zillion things we did to make the world a better place. Perhaps, it was when we were compassionate to a mean person or the time we lent our shoulder, apartment and wallet to a depressed friend. It could even be that moment when we held our temper in a tight rein when we had every reason to let it go and damage those that deserved it.


We all forget the good in us, sometimes, we even forget ourselves. When was the last time you looked at your eyes in the mirror or told yourself you have a lovely smile? When was the last time you appreciated the things you do and did? This is the month to wear shiny new clothes and I wonder when we wear those sparkling creations of cloth whether we feel sparkling inside?

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Let’s change that. Tomorrow, when the first rays of the sun shake the sleep from the earth, when we pay obeisance to the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, let us look at ourselves anew. Let us take a moment from the celebration and celebrate the light that’s shining in each one of us. Happy Deepavali.


Still Figuring It Out’ a funny, sad, questioning take on adulthood will appear every Saturday on Asianet Newsable. Arathi Menon is the author of Leaving Home With Half a Fridge, a memoir published by Pan Macmillan. She tweets at here. The views expressed here are her own.


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