Diwali doesn’t need an introduction. The Festival of Lights, is celebrated with equal fervour and gaiety by the young and old. Throughout the country, people light Diyas to dispel the darkness and light up their homes and their hearts.
In life, change is the only constant! A lot has changed over the years in terms of traditions and customs. However, the thrill and the exhilaration remains the same. I’m a person who eagerly awaits Diwali as Diwali is the most favourite festival of mine. Every year Diwali brings vigorous enthusiasm and exuberance in me but one Diwali night I cannot get over for the rest of my life as I had experienced something so monumentally tragic. I know what it is to lose someone you love. I lost my best friend, Laveena. It’s the most painful and heart wrenching incident of my life. It’s unforgettable! It completely devastated me.
If I go back in time, I can clearly recollect the exact scenario. My best friend, Laveena hailed from Jharkhand. She had come to Delhi for her schooling. She used to stay with her Aunt (Bua).
In 2007, I met her through one of our common friends and from there on, we became the best of friends. She and I were eagerly awaiting Diwali as Diwali was our favourite festival. Nine years ago, on 17 October, 2009, I remember I had gone to give her a Diwali present. I had spent approximately two hours wrapping the gift that I was supposed to give her. I bought her a dress on which she had been crushing on since a very long time. I was very enthusiastic and eager to enjoy the Diwali celebration with her.
I still remember, until evening we were discussing what to wear and how to adorn ourselves for the Pooja. She draped a red sari and I wore a dark green lehanga. We both thought we looked the best. She came over to my place for dinner and left early as I was supposed to go to her house for the fireworks.
At 10:17 pm I last spoke to her. Yes, you read it right! I reached her house exact at 10:30 pm and I could see no celebration happening. Her Bua weeping and crying. That sight completely perplexed me. It was hard for me to believe what my eyes just spotted. I broke down into tears and crashed to the ground in agony.
After a few minutes, I was told that she was no more.
Laveena was quite fond of crackers and that’s exactly what got her life away. She was so engrossed in burning crackers that her saree caught fire. She collapsed and never woke up. I lost her forever! She died on the spot in a span of 60 seconds. After a severe burn, her body went in a shock and as a result, she couldn’t survive.
A few months later, I managed to look like a normal person. I walked down the street; I answered my phone but I was not okay from within. I was in grief. She meant the world to me. I still shed tears for her and I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing so. May her soul rest in peace.
The death of a loved one is an intense and often life-changing event. Over the past nine years, I have changed significantly as a person. All of those changes stem from the death of my best friend. I miss her every day and I miss her even more on Diwali. I would want to tell everyone that please give utmost importance to safety. Diwali is the festival of joy and happiness. Do not ruin it with sheer carelessness. During this festival that is celebrated across the length and breadth of our country, people do tend to get reckless, and a little careless too. They seem to forget that, the very same fire that lights lamps and crackers, can also cause burns and fire accidents and often resulting in damage to life.
Do not put yourself at risk while playing with crackers. In my view, festivals should create opportunities for cementing friendships and ending hostilities. Love and harmony are the most important features of a festival. My humble request to each one of you that please be alert and enjoy the festival of light blissfully.
Happy Diwali folks!