New Delhi: As the national capital is soaked in festivities with splendid fireworks lighting up the sky, a bunch of non-Delhites, too, joined the celebrations even though they couldn’t help nostalgia creeping in, reminding them of their near and dear ones back home.
“Feeling sad. Doesn’t feel like Diwali. Home is so far to reach and a one-day leave from office is not good. All are going home. I am feeling lonely,” said Rajesh Chaubey, who works with an MNC here but hails from Bhubaneswar.
“Since childhood, I have celebrated Diwali with my family and friends…Offering puja to Goddess Lakshmi in the evening and burning visiting friends’ house later. This is the first time that I am away from home and I am missing my family,” Stuti Sarkar, a young journalist from Lucknow working in Delhi, said.
At Chittaranjan Park, a gaggle of young men and women could be seen crowding the junk food stalls, munching on street food.
“I come here so that I can feel at home. We are bound by our jobs. Given a choice between my hometown and Delhi, I would prefer to be with my family. But the Bengali environment here comforts me with a feel of my hometown,” Prosenjit Chatterjee from Kolkata, who has been working in Delhi for the past two years, said.
“Some things are better done at home. Celebrating Diwali is one of them. I miss decorating our house with earthen lamps and rice lights; preparing sweets; watching my brothers burst crackers; visiting Kali puja pandals nearby; and most importantly, spending time with my family,” Bhaswati Talukdar, who hails from Guwahati and has missed last eight Diwalis, said.
Numerous Diwali Melas (fairs and carnivals) take place all across the major gathering points in the city. Be it the time-tested Sunder Nagar Mela, a shoppers delight at Select Citywalk Diwali Bazaar, the colorful handcrafted festive celebration at Dastkar or the all-time hit Blind School Mela – all add a spark to the festive season. One can also enjoy the amazing street food and the enriching culture.
One of the city’s longest running melas (over 50 years old) – the Sunder Nagar mela, which began on November 7, has everything from fun ridden Ferris wheel rides, a plethora of games to shopping and eating options. This two-day jamboree has been a favorite of many since time immemorial.
Delhi is home for many non-localites who move from their states and come here for jobs and higher studies.