The month of October ended with a BANG! Thankfully the vacations granted to us students weren’t too short or too long. Time was definitely proven to be valuable as me and my dad made our way to Jaipur to celebrate Diwali with our family and friends for a week; something my dad hadn’t done in decades. Literally!
Jaipur, known for its touristic beauty, charm, and surprisingly easily accessible flat roads, is a place I love visiting. It’s situated in Rajasthan, India, and not only is it a land of natural beauty, but also great history. Considering I’m not completely aware of the history, having visited the ‘old’ part of town just once, I’ll gladly not be giving any information on that. Famously known as the ‘Pink City’, the majority of Jaipur’s bridges, buildings, and residences are a monotonous shade of orange-ish pink. Now that the new airport’s construction is complete, traveling to and from Jaipur is much more feasible than before.
It blew me away that week. It’s not like I had never visited the city before, but during Diwali, the brilliant city was SHINING! The streets, specializing in particular products such as gold or diamond jewelry, marble, children’s apparel, etc., were dramatically embellished with a spectacular array of colorful tubelights in different aesthetic ways. Unlike any other city, even the historical forts and buildings were garnished with lights hanging over them. Stopping the car to stand outside and take pictures was a burden because of the unbelievable crowds!
Each year there’s a competition for the best decorated and the most brilliantly lit up market. It’s a dazzling display that attracts visitors from all over India. Like me, for example!
And the fireworks: WOW. After eight, long, non-Diwali year of living in USA, watching the entire city fill up with smoke because of the sky-filling and deafening fireworks was almost like experiencing a rally to increase global warming. The pollution, the smell, the dust, and worst of all, the constant deafening bangs filled up the city just the night before Diwali even began! And I can shamelessly say that I played a major role in polluting the city even more (with my family alongside).
One of the most surprising things many people don’t know, is that Jaipur is also the most hyperactive, socializing city you will ever find. The moment we stepped foot into the city, my dad began rambling on about the many people we would be meeting. Although meeting people isn’t something I usually detest, there’s always a limit. And to top it off, whenever we went to anyone’s house, the food was continuously appearing on the coffee table. Indian sweets, masala tea, spciy Indian snacks also widely known as namkeen, cake, etc. etc. etc. The list just keeps going on. Imagine having all that in one sitting! When all you really want is lunch! Not dessert! And astonishingly, at each person’s house, there was always something I hadn’t seen anywhere before. It was simply overwhelming.
In a completely respective way, I also want to say that I practically broke my back bending down almost a million times to touch the feet of my relatives over and over again. Considering the fact that I met them many times throughout the day.
Overall, the experience was truly unforgettable. The lights, the fireworks, the disgustingly sweet food, and the traditional feet-touching, also known as ‘dhok’. I loved the lights the most! Best of all, our quaint, ancient house on the main street was amazing to live in again, with its old cupboards, lumpy mattress, miniscule kitchen, high-rise ceiling, I loved every aspect of it! And spending most of my time with my elder brother and little niece. Just the three of us, ambling through mall after mall, restaurant after restaurant, foodcourt after foodcourt, it was an abounding time of relaxation, fun, and celebration all-in-one! And most importantly, an iced mocha from Cafe Coffee Day, everyday!