A special occasion is coming up, and what would you do? Why, spend time with your family! Needless to say this would be the response if the occasion in question is Deepavali, the festival of lights.
Few would disagree that the festival – which is the only time it is considered alright to make more noise, binge on extra sweets without a care for diet or other constraints and go haywire – is celebrated best in consonance with all members of the family. After all, as the saying goes, more the merrier.
However, for a section of the city’s population, notably the bachelors, this may not be possible, thanks to work constraints. To them, the celebrations with their families would be limited to exchanging pleasantries and correspondence, be it over the telephone or Skype-video chats.
An executive at a private e-commerce firm, Ramamoorthy Swaminathan, is one such person. A native of Alanganallur in Madurai district – the venue for the renowned famous ‘Jallikattu’, conducted annually during Pongal – he says that this Deepavali would not be an all-family affair due to lack of ample leave. “My brothers and sisters-in-law would be home. Much as I would want to go, it would be impossible to make it to there and return in a day.”
Just as every problem can present an opportunity, Ramamoorthy has found two to his present situation – he has made plans for an extended holiday during the upcoming Pongal festival; and more importantly, he has extensive plans for making this Deepavali a memorable one. “I have booked tickets for the upcoming Ajith starrer Aarambam, which I have been eagerly awaiting,” he adds. The die-hard thala fan that he is, he confesses that it would still meet his requirements of “having a ball” although it would not be a first-day, first show. It would then be followed by an outing to a local restaurant and a bike-trip in the ECR along with a few of his ‘mansion’ folks. “Come Pongal, I will zip back home,” he says.
For Maharajan S, this Deepavali would be just another day in the office. A budding directorial assistant and a native of Kumarapalayam in Tiruppur district, his celebration plans have been nixed, thanks to a hectic schedule followed by the film-making unit he is working in. “I would have loved to go back home. Who wouldn’t? My family members were disappointed, but I intend to make it up with an extended leave in the near future.” His idea of celebrating Deepavali? “A dinner with the unit members,” he says in a reflective tone.
A fence-sitter in this regard, R Sriram is undecided over whether to leave for his native Mayiladuturai. An employee at a newspaper circulation office, he says that it will all depend on the plans that his colleagues come up with at the last minute. “Making a reservation now would not make sense; if their plans do not entice me, my hometown is only an overnight trip by bus from here,” he says with a wink.