Oh …well! Have I joined the jet-set group? Ha! No, this was just ‘one of’ occurrence. But it did so happen that within a span of 15 hours I traveled across three cities; touched two airports and then went on to the third city via road.
The last day of Diwali is observed as Bhai Duj or Bhau Beej. On this day, a brother visits his sister’s place; she welcomes him, prepares his favourite feast for him and then performs Arati of her brother. The brother gives a special gift to his sister. I guess only some communities in India observe this custom, but it is a big thing in Maharashtra and a big day for all brothers and sisters. Our family also religiously followed this tradition, right since my childhood. But as we grow old, many things – especially circumstances change.
I often say that earlier it was a period of joint families, then came the nuclear families and now it is time of ‘dispersed families’. Because of the jobs, education or some such reason, members of a family – especially children — are now spread around in the various corners of the country or the globe. Then the big festivals (like Diwali or Durga Puja) are the only time to come together and spend some time as a family.
The same is the case in our family. We (me and my brother) generally never missed the Bhau Beej time of the year. However, now with our children all grown up and living in the different parts of the world/country, things have changed. Either my brother is away spending the festive time with his daughter or son, or I am away celebrating the festival of light with my son.
It occurred to us that ‘missing Bhau Beej day’ was almost becoming a routine. So planned a bit of detour. After spending Diwali in Bangalore, instead of returning directly back home to Mumbai, we changed our itinerary (and tickets) and decided to take Bangalore-Pune flight and then return home (Mumbai) via road.
So after breakfast, we left son’s home in Bangalore and reached Kempe Gawda Airport by 11.30 am.
The one o’clock noon flight took us to Pune where we reached by 2.30 pm. Had our lunch in the clouds 🙂
Pune International Airport being still operative as Defence airport, clicking pictures was not allowed and I had to be satisfied with an air shot of the Pune city.
My nephew drove us to my brother’s place and our families caught up with each other over the platefuls of Diwali sweets. This followed by arati and exchange of Bhau Beej gifts. In spite of our wish, spending long hours there was not possible. A cab was already arranged to pick us up and drop us at our door step.
So we started from Pune around 6.30 pm and with hardly any pit stop, reached home by 10 pm.
At last the lights of my city – Mumbai.
So, for that one day, it was like — breakfast in Bangalore, lunch at 30,000 feet above the ground, a high tea in Pune and a late dinner back at home in Mumbai. Quite a Day!
Thus, my multi-city Diwali celebration ‘katha’ (story) sampoornam (complete)!
Do you have some similar experience to narrate? Please do share it here with us!