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All in a row: Diyas light up more than just our homes

All in a row: Diyas light up more than just our homes

Pradeep decided that they would use electrical lights in multicolored to decorate the house for the festival.

“How many days to Deepavali?” Pradeep asked his dad.

“Four,” said Dad without looking up from the newspaper.

“Oh… ho… we don’t have much time. We have to decorate the house with colorful electrical bulbs and multicolored string lights.”

“I think it would be better to use earthen diyas,” said Dad.

“No Dad, diyas cannot beat the sparkle of string lights.”

“But Pradeep, if we don’t buy diyas now, what will happen to the potters?”

“My friends have decided to buy string lights and so we too have to buy that.”

Pradeep was playing on the lawn when, he saw a boy of his age walking along with the gardener whom he called Mali Kaka.

“Who is this boy, Mali Kaka?”

“My son Shibu. He has come from the village to celebrate Deepavali with us.”

“Do you want to play?” Pradeep enquired.

“Yes,” said Shibu.

Friends

Soon the two kids were friends. Pradeep told him about his school and friends while Shibu surprised Pradeep with his knowledge about plants and trees.

Shibu said, “Would you like to see the diyas and toys my father and I made?”

“Yes”, said Pradeep and they ran towards the outhouse.

When Shibu unlocked the door, he was taken aback. Rows of diyas stood neatly along the far wall of the room. Toys in different shapes and bright colors were stacked along the other wall. There were elephants, horses and girls and boys with pots on their head and more.

Besides the earthenware wonders the room had just an old bed and a rusty chair. Pradeep now noticed Shibu’s faded shirt, and the shorts he wore that were too big for him. Obviously something handed down. Yet, Shibu stood there beaming, proudly displaying his handiwork.

“But why did you make so many diyas?” Pradeep asked.

“My father says if he can sell these diyas and toys, we will get enough to celebrate Deepavali nicely,” said Shibu sounding optimistic.

Pradeep went back to his house in a thoughtful mood.

“Where were you? Get ready. We will go to the market and buy the decorations you wanted,” said Dad cheerfully.

“No Dad. I think diyas will be better,” said Pradeep.

Dad was happy to hear this.

~ Manjari Shukla

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