New Diwali Dress

by Kiruthikha
(Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India)

New dress and anger at my Uncle

New dress and anger at my Uncle

The experience that I am about to narrate had taken place when I was young. This had happened at home during Diwali. Diwali is an Indian festival. We usually wear new clothes, invite friends, cousins and relatives to our homes and distribute and exchange sweets and food, and burst crackers as a way of celebrating.

My maternal uncle, my mother's younger brother, was visiting us during Diwali. To start, I would like to say something about my uncle. My maternal uncle's family (that is my mother's side of the family) used to be very wealthy, but due to some circumstances, they had lost all their wealth. They were in a financially bad position at the time of this incident.

During Diwali, we get up early, take an oil bath, wear new clothes, offer prayers and then only take food. All of us needed to take a bath, and my mother had instructed me to take a bath only after my uncle had used the bathroom (we had only one bathroom at that time). I was angry with my uncle as he was sitting and reading the newspaper instead of taking a bath. So I shouted at him asking him to take his bath quickly as I needed to take mine. He simply put his head down without answering anything. So I went and complained to my mother about her brother saying that he was not budging from his place.

Then she told me that she had forgotten to give him the new clothes that she had purchased for him, and asked me to fetch it and give it to him. When I realized the reason behind his delay, I felt very ashamed at my thoughtless behavior - he was not getting ready for his bath, as he did not have any new cloths to wear afterwards! I gave him the new clothes saying that my mother had asked me to give it to him, and told him gently to take his bath. But I didn't apologize for shouting at him, for the fear that he would feel bad on knowing that I knew the reason behind his hesitation. This has been in my mind since then, and I feel very bad and guilty when I think about it. From then on, I have learned to be more patient with people, especially those who have financial problems.

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