She woke up in tears after fighting with her husband till late night who came back home drunk after losing the whole amount of Diwali bonus in gambling.
In his defense, her mother in law revealed that playing cards on Diwali has religious importance.
“Goddess Parvati (Lord Shiva’s wife) was playing cards with him. Excited with her win, Mother Goddess Parvati announced that whoever gambled on the Diwali night, would mint wealth throughout the year,”
She couldn’t relate to the story but didn’t argue for the sake of her own mental peace.
She got up, took a bath and went straight inside the kitchen to make Diwali feast. She herself was fasting to evoke the grace of God as you gain only by giving up. The Diwali fast like many others was applicable only to married ladies.
She got out of the kitchen after two hours to spend five minutes in the fan and get rid of sweating.
“Tea.” Her husband screamed from the bedroom and she got inside the kitchen again to make tea for him.
After some time, she served brunch to her husband and settled on the couch to take some rest after having tea and fruits. Meanwhile her husband got out to get flowers to decorate the home.
After resting for some time she got up and decorated the home with flowers and neem leaves to welcome Goddess Laxmi in the evening. Her mother in law scrutinized the kitchen and showed apparent surprise after finding out that she hadn’t made any sweets on the occasion of Diwali.
“I am going to make moong dal halwa in the afternoon.” She told her and kept hanging flowers all over.
On any other day making moong dal halwa felt like a piece of cake to her but since she had pain in her shoulders from the last few days of Diwali cleaning and extended festivities, the whole halwa thing drove her crazy with pain.
She left the halwa on the sim gas flame for a while and got inside her room to rest for five minutes. She didn’t realize when she felt asleep.
“She is so irresponsible, can’t do even one thing without spoiling it.” She heard her mother in law screaming at her husband.
She got up in a hurry and got back in kitchen again only to find the burned leftover halwa pile on the gas flame.
“Don’t worry ma. I will get the halwa from outside.” Her husband consoled his mother.
“This is bad omen. That’s how Laxmi Ji will stay at our home? By offering her impure sweets? You work so hard. Your wife has no concern about your growth.”
She opened her lips to say something but her husband blinked his eyes in her direction and asked her in silence to keep quiet. She agreed and went inside the kitchen to prep up for the grand puja in the evening.
She made the Puja station and arranged for the Puja ingredients and lamps. She advised her husband to bring electric lamp this year but was forced to stick to the original traditional lamps which only led to extra work in her kitty.
Her mother in law inspected the station and found around fifty faults in her preparations. She felt a rage running inside of her but didn’t say anything because she knew it will only led to fighting and argument without any constructive closure.
After the puja got over, PanditJi took out an owl from his bag. She couldn’t believe that they were actually doing it.
A few days back, PanditJi advised her mother in law to sacrifice an owl and offer it to Goddess Laxmi on Diwali. “Owl is Goddess Laxmi’s vehicle and killing it will mean that Goddess Laxmi is supposed to stay in their house for forever.” PanditJi explained.
Since they were all pure vegetarians she assumed that her mother in law would never agree to it but she did. She couldn’t stand the butcher so she went in the balcony and stood there for a while.
She started coughing and got an asthma stroke due to the smoke caused by crackers.Her breathing became heavy and she got back inside the home and closed all windows and doors.
“You foolish girl. Don’t you know you are not supposed to close doors on Diwali eve. How Laxmi ma will get inside our home, if the doors are kept closed?” Her mother in law said and opened all doors and windows.
She started coughing badly and looked for her Asthalin pump. After inhaling the medicine for some time, she got inside the kitchen and served dinner to her husband and mother in law.
After that she served food to herself and came out of the kitchen. While she was having food, guests started to visit and her husband asked her to join them and serve them tea, soft drinks and snacks.
She ate her dinner in hurry and as she was not supposed to left the food midway on the day of fasting.
“May you have a little kid with you by next Diwali.” The elderly relatives blessed her while leaving.
After everyone left, she cleaned the kitchen and put the leftover food in refrigerator.
Her husband advised her to work on her food estimates while cooking. “You should cook in lesser quantity. Almost everyday we have leftover food.” He told her.
She completely ignored his remark and quickly got inside her bedroom. She changed into nightclothes and lay on bed. The crackers didn’t let her sleep but she acted sleepy when her husband called her name in a husky voice after getting inside the room.
“Diwali is finally over.” She told her body ache and smiled with teary eyes.