Diwali, a festival we all look forward to. It brings joy, happiness and celebration!! New clothes, sweets, savories, get-togethers and a lot many things …. School, colleges break for few days giving lot of relaxing time to students. They are already happy to have received their Diwali gifts, some crackers to burst and lot of delicious sweets to enjoy. Adults plan their work accordingly to spend time with family, friends and relatives. Some prefer to shop something new for home, while some prefer to shop for themselves. Overall, it’s a joyful time. Houses are decorated with lanterns, clay lamps lit in evening and early mornings, Rangolis with vibrant colors give this festival a real touch of beauty.
Like every year, Raju too was waiting for Diwali. This was his favourite festival among all others. Raju was studying in 6th standard in a Municipal school. His father was working as Security Guard while mother was working as a maid. He had both Grandparents at home, aged and tired. He had a younger brother and a sister. In short, Raju’s Parents had a big family to support. Raju, being eldest brother, was very matured and responsible. Since last two-three years, he had realized that his parents had difficulty to manage expenses especially in Diwali. Though Raju and his siblings got new clothes, sweets but parents did not buy anything for themselves. So this year, he had planned something on his own. He decided to sell decorative items like clay lamps, stickers, lanterns, rangoli colors etc. to add on some earnings. For this, he had his plan ready. When he discussed his idea with parents, initially they were hesitant as his studies might suffer but Raju assured them that he would make up for his studies. Just after Ganapati festival, he went to wholesale market to buy raw materials for lanterns, lamps along with his father. Everyday Raju would go to school in morning. After coming back from school, he would study religiously for 2 hours and then along with his siblings would make lanterns, decorate lamps daily inside house.
Parents and grandparents were amazed to see their dedication. His daadi suggested to sell freshly made, Flowers’ Toran on Diwali Pratipada (Padwa) .She and daada would make them at home. Raju jumped with joy to receive his daada, daadi’s helping hand. He felt encouraged.
Just before Dussehra, he had his material to sell ready.
On Dussehra, Raju’s first ever stall was all setup and had his first customer to buy clay lamps. Raju and his siblings were delighted now. Everyday after coming back from morning school, Raju would study and then evening onwards run his stall.
He not only earned money but also learned what it takes to earn it. He and his siblings understood the meaning of efforts and hard work and also set example for other kids in his neighborhood.
This Diwali was special for Raju. As planned, he bought some gifts for his parents, the stuff they needed most for long time but could not buy. I won’t write here what he gifted them because those may be very small things for us but it has made a lot of difference for Raju and his family.
They are happy. Their house is filled with joy and they are a contented family now.
There are many such Rajus who work extra on Diwali. The story and characters differ but purpose is all the same, To have some good moments with family, to have something for everyone in house 🙂 All we can do is We should support such Rajus so that they can support their family. Buy local. Help local economy.
By the way the Lantern in front of Raju’s house is very bright this Diwali and Lamp is shining like never before.