Although I have very fond memories of Diwali from my early childhood days - sharing crackers with the kids in our colony, all the lights, sparks & colours, the dangerous tricks we tried behind our parents' backs - I haven't quiet celebrated the festival since I was about 15 years old.
Reason? I bought an adorable little puppy home then and although he didn't mind Diwali so much in the initial years (in fact he loved watching the sparks fly about), he grew up to hate it. The noise terrified him and he would climb all over us, scratching us generously with his paws and snapping at the slightest touch. He loved mum so much that if she went alone, he'd have to follow her, no matter how scared he was and he would bark at the top of his voice until she came back in. He worried that something would happen to her and that was a greater concern for him than his own fear. It's heartening to see that kind of love. I wonder if one human can give another that.
Three years ago, he passed away. It was just a month before my wedding and for a couple of years after that I did not want to participate in any celebrations. I still miss him sometimes but the number of times has lessened as the days roll by. I think of him often. Well, this is not a blog about Sonu, so I will move on. Maybe I'll write one for him later, there's so many memories I carry!
I say it like a joke but it could just be true. Lucky came to stay in my house almost like a dowry, a few months into my marriage. Like the maid-in-waiting of a princess who follows the young bride, to serve her in her new home. Although she was jealous of me when I first moved into my in-laws' place, she adjusted pretty well once she moved into my own place.
The year before my marriage, she had had a bout of fits during Diwali. All the noise had freaked her out. Ever since, we had been worried about her, especially around this time. It's been 3 years since then and she has shown no signs of relapse (thank God for that). On the other hand, she has grown to be curious. This Diwali she went down to the garage with the family, where they lit crackers - sparklers, flower-pots and the like. I missed the party but I heard stories about her that pleased me!
Instead of being scared of the noises or the 'fire', she was intrigued. She was excited about the sparks that flew about and went searching for them on the ground as they disappeared. She is the only dog I've heard of who would do such a thing.
However, I'm not too surprised. She seems to implicitly trust that anything that one of us in the family participates in, cannot hurt her either. She watches me light the lamps in the pooja room on some days and sits down to watch. She doesn't understand it but she knows it is harmless because I'm right there, doing something with it.
They have so much love and trust for us! No wonder they call a dog man's best friend. They give and they give and they give, no matter what. They forget the times you have been angry with them or the times you didn't let them have the treat they thought they deserved but they will not forget that you are family and they love you relentlessly.