Annam's Deepavali

Annam looked through the glass window. The mannequins were adorned with beautiful Sarees and Salwar Kameez. Beads and sequins spread on the materials like morning glory creeping up a fence to reach for sunlight. A pair of glittering glass bangles decorated with white stones dangling on both hands of a mannequin.

Annam's big brown eyes looked at the mannequins. Yearning. How she longed to own such a beautiful costume for Deepavali. She let a long sigh and looked away.

The streets were busy with people crossing roads, families rushing to find a place to park their cars and customers bargaining. Songs from films blasted and once in a while there were announcements inviting customers to shops offering Deepavali sale. Parents and children, hands full of shopping bags, smiled away happily satisfied with their purchase. A group of young girls beside Annam were showing their costumes and comparing the prices.

Annam gave another sigh and approached the group of girls. Clutching in her hand a long stick with several hooks bearing colourful cotton candy. The girls purchased a few cotton candies. It was Annam's last sale. It was time to go home and join her family to celebrate the eve of Deepavali.

That night, Annam and her siblings gathered for prayers. Annam's mother prepared some offerings for their grandparents and Annam's father. After the prayers they had dinner and later they gathered again to receive their Deepavali costumes. All her sibling were excited, took their costumes and compared with each other.

Annam however was not excited. She was sad that their Deepavali cloths were old stocks given to Annam's mother by her employer. Her mother noticed her sad face. She sat beside Annam.

Annam's mother told her that Deepavali is not about wearing new cloths. It's all about living a simple life and appreciating what god gave. Man have many desires and controlled by their ego and greed. There is a difference of between needs and wants. The light will guide us of what we truly need and can afford. The darkness of the greed and ego shall banish and replaced with the light of wisdom

Annam smiled. She ran outside and joined her siblings to light up the oil lamps.