One month ahead of Diwali, the apartment’s core committee called for a meeting. Apparently they have been celebrating Diwali every year with some competitions for kids and adults alike. They also erect a stage and organize performances by kids and enthusiastic adults. Responsibilities of different activities were divided among us. Choreographing a dance number for Mantam’s peer group fell into my bucket. I was a bit apprehensive about managing a group of eight kids in the beginning. When we began, everything started falling into place. The most difficult part was the time that we had in hand for preparations. We had only a week, that too a working one! I would come back from office and straight away head to the community hall where the kids would be assembled. After a few rounds of practice, the kids would pester me for a break. If I indulged them with a short break, they would scamper around and make nerve-wracking noise. So, whenever they got tired, I would make them sit down in a circle and make them some play some games. It would be fun, we would all laugh so much and regain energy for some more rounds of rehearsal. The song was Happy Diwali form the movie Home Delivery. It is a peppy number and everyone loved the song and my group’s performance.
There were 3 other groups that performed dance numbers. A bunch of kids also sand two songs taught by my friend AJ’s mom. On the eve of the event, all the ladies of the apartment decided to sing together. The song undisputedly had to be ‘Mile Sure Mera Tumhara’ apt for our context. All of us were away from our roots but celebrating together as a unit. There were also drawing and musical chairs for younger lot of kids, while elders kids had the Diya decoration and treasure hunt contests. Infants weren’t left behind. They were dressed with fancy costumes and brought on to the stage by their parents. Elders were divided into group of fours and asked to give a makeover to one of the group members using newspapers. Abbas, AJ Mom and I made up our team member as an Egyptian Pharoah. There was also a contest for couples where we were asked to dance on a sheet of newspaper, while our legs had to be within the newspaper. As the contest progressed, the level of difficulty kept raising with the newspaper sheet being folded to half. At one point, it wasn’t possible for two people to stand together on the paper, most husbands lifted their wives. I was contemplating to quit as Abbas has never been able to lift me till now. Just then the music began and Abbas jumped like a frog and hugged me with both his legs and hands. I was flabbergasted and everyone laughed till their stomachs hurt!! Abbas and I even participated in the Antakshari and won the second place. Yummy snacks were served at the end of the celebrations.
Sweet memories of this event will stay with us for a long long time to come!
Leaving you with some pictures: