While most others eagerly look forward to this time of year, the festival of lights is often tinged with homesickness for young professionals and students living away from home. While Hyderabad lights up with fireworks, diyas and festivities, the youngsters who aren’t able to make it back for Diwali this year will have to make do with video calls, parcels, and anything else that makes the city feel more like home. We talk to a few new Hyderabadis about their plans for the festive season.
Poulomi Mandal, a native of Mysuru, has been living in the city for over five years now. While her first couple of years were spent at the English and Foreign Language University and Hyderabad Central University, this year, she plans to host her first Diwali party as a working professional. “Back in university, most of the students were from other states, so Diwali celebrations with our limited pocket money was a must. But now that everyone has graduated and become busy with work, we barely get to catch up. So I am planning to host a house party this Diwali. There will be a huge potluck, music, games and lots of stories share.”
Niveditha Natraj, a 33-year-old financial analyst who has been living in the city for six years, says, “I usually do not get a chance to go back home for Diwali. So, over the last couple of years, I, along with my colleagues and roommates who are also from other cities have learnt to make the city feel like a home away from home. Diwali morning is usually spent cleaning and decorating the whole house. We invite our friends over for lunch and play a round or two of cards to keep up the tradition. In the evenings, we make it a point to get decked up and go out for dinner. But we ensure that we make time for each other, regardless of our professional commitments.”
City-based IT professional, Arjav Jain, a native of Bengaluru, says, “Unfortunately, I can’t go home this year because of work commitments. I’m already missing the festivities and it doesn’t feel good. Because this is my first Diwali away from home, I plan to wear ethnic clothes and go out with a few friends.”...