A letter to Lakshmi ji

Dear Lakshmi ji,

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be an SAHM? An SAHM with a pair of super energetic kids, a super busy husband and a house with a perpetually open door through which umpteen kids stream in an out continuously dripping food and toys?

I don't think so.

The only kid you're ever even seen with is your nephew Ganapati, who, with due apologies, is not the really sporty kind. He doesn't bug you to death to look for his bat or to fish for his ball under the car. He doesn't hang from curtain rods bringing down pelmets giving you a minor heart attack besides saddling you with the task of carpenter hunting.

You've never had to sit with him over his milk and vegetables appearing to be patient while your mind buzzes with the thousand tasks awaiting your attention. Give him his plate of modaks and laddoos and you can get on which your chores (which aren't really too many).

And no, you've never needed to mess your hands making those laddoos either, what with the millions struggling to get into your good books. They load you with enough food to sate even the six heads of your other nephew Kartikeya.

Then there's The Husband. Yours is supposed to take care of the world so he'd hardly need looking after. He's not diabetic. He doesn't need to be pushed to go for his daily walk or watched with a hawk eye lest he empty the mithai box. All you need to do is provide him with your sweet company.. which wouldn't be so tough given your stress-free life.

As for the cleaning ... how much cleaning would one need when one lives on a snake in the middle of the ocean?

So then...

What right do you have to go looking for the cleanest, prettiest houses with beautifully done up tables piled with homemade goodies each Diwali?

For a change... just this once, don't let that barbie littered doorway scare you away. What? You see no one praying? Hey they're too excited to sit quietly with folded hands. They'd rather sing and dance.. they're expecting you, don't worry.. do walk in. Step around the dolls, Oh and mind those cars -  they might trip you, Oops sorry! did you mess your sari? Those diyas are being painted to welcome you. Don't mind that sink full of vessels.. that food was made in your honour.

Don't look at the dust on the shelves, look at the smiling faces in the frames on them. Don't look for the most scintillating fireworks, look for the happiest face behind the smallest sparkler. Don't look for the fanciest lights, look for the attention and care with which those diyas were painted. Don't look at that crooked rangoli look at the thrill on the girl's face, it's her first.

Rather than the cleanest, prettiest and most peaceful houses, how about looking for the noisiest, cosiest and happiest homes? Try it this Diwali. You might find them more fun than the squeaky clean ones.

Warm regards

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