Summer vacations were the only times when I met my cousins and grandparents. My fondest memories are the times we spent together- making up games, watching TV and laughing at Cookie Monster in Sesame Street, sliding down the staircase on pillows, and making a mess of the place. Before going to bed, the whole family would gather in the living room, and my grandfather would tell us a story and end by telling the children a secret. Later on, we moved closer to each other, but we had different schedules, and couldn’t meet up very often once we reached high school. We would try and make any excuse to meet up or stay longer in each others’ home. When we have sleepovers, we stay up late watching movies This Diwali, as I watched videos of families bursting firecrackers, I was reminded of when I last burst crackers with my cousins. My aunt went store to store looking for the firecrackers and finally found them in her hometown, and when she returned, we burst them and played all night long, screaming and laughing together. We were all very little at that time, but I distinctly remember waving a wand of sparkles, and screaming as one kind spun around, and another flew up like a rocket and burst up in the air. Life today is much more complicated than when I was 4, especially with the impact of the pandemic, yet these simple joys are such a blessing! I look forward to the next festive season to be able to burst firecrackers with my family, around whom I can be my silly self, again. - Irene Rachel Binoi | BCA (CT & ISM) | St. Teresa's College, Ernakulam
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