These heartwarming Diwali stories truly highlight the ‘giving’ spirit of the festival!
Diwali is all about love, kindness and spreading joy, and these 5 stories share these very emotions. We hope these reads light up your Diwali!
“I grew up in a full house – my entire extended family lives in the same building. My Nani lives next door. And my aunt and Dadi on the floor below. So naturally we’re big on family holidays. Our Diwali tradition has remained unchanged, even today!
We wake up at 5AM and the whole family meets at my grandparents’ for breakfast. We spend the day together and at night, my cousins and I would lay on our backs on the terrace and watch the fireworks.
This year, I’m the only one who didn’t go back home for the holiday, and I woke up feeling so homesick. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I even had to go to office. I was on a warpath the entire day!
But when I got back, my friend had decorated the house with his sister, and he’d planned a Diwali dinner for me. Plus, mom sent homemade sweets. I guess this is what it’s like being an adult–you keep the memories and those you love close...and build new traditions along the way.”
“All my friends were lighting fuljadis, but Ma said we didn’t have enough money to buy any. So while my friends were all lighting their Fuljadis, I was watching from the side, when a group of tourists tapped me on my shoulder and gave me a whole box! They wished me Happy Diwali and left. I’m so happy, my wish came true!”
“One evening, I was being really fussy with the food made at home, when my mom told me to leave my plate and go with her. She took me to a slum behind my house where I saw little children, my age, maybe younger, running towards a truck of food that distributed food to them every Sunday. I was left in tears — they didn’t even know if they would get to eat for days and here I was complaining. That incident made me desperate to help in any way I could.
A few months later, I made a small lantern for a school project before our Diwali holidays. I asked my mother how much it cost us to make 1 lantern — she said it was approximately 2 Rupees and that’s when the idea struck me. I started making these lanterns and selling them for 5 Rupees to my relatives and neighbours while my mother sold them to her colleagues at work. Over the weeks, as I sold more lamps I saved enough money to buy all the children sweets for Diwali. I don’t know what it was, but seeing those children devour sweets that we take for granted made my Diwali more than special.
Over the weeks, as I sold more lamps I saved enough money to buy all the children sweets for Diwali. I don’t know what it was, but seeing those children devour sweets that we take for granted made my Diwali more than special.
From there, I began quilling and making envelopes, handicrafts, dolls and even themed sets. In 2013, I had another experience which made me rethink how much we take for granted. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As she underwent treatment, I felt like my whole world came crashing down — but my mother was always so positive. She told me we were so lucky that we could afford the best treatment for her, and there were so many others who weren’t as fortunate. That was the second time where I felt gratitude but helplessness at the same time.
That year, I collected an additional 30,000 Rupees for cancer patients— and I know it might not be much, but I did whatever I could. I’m conducting a workshop at Tata Memorial this Diwali, for children who have cancer…to make them play games and give them lots of sweets!
I’m 13 right now and I hope that every Diwali I can add a little more light, and bring a few more smiles. Hopefully the day will come where no child goes to sleep hungry and everyone can afford medical treatments — I’m going to try and give it my all…and that’s all we can do for now — try, until it becomes a reality.”
“My family makes all these Diyas by hand, and I travel for over 8 hours from my village to come here and sell them. By the time I can go back home, Diwali will be over. I’ve been doing this for a while now...lighting other people’s homes so that I can feed mine. But it’s okay, when I go back home and tell my parents how much I’ve made. When my mother realises that she can afford to buy sweets or when my brothers and sisters realise that we can afford to buy crackers…that’s when our Diwali will start.”
"My father never allowed me to work before marriage, but my husband was of the opinion that I should do something and not just sit at home. This Diwali, I decided to surprise him—I made these beautiful lanterns for him to sell. So we both sit at the stall together after he finishes work. He handles all the money, while I sell! The stall is doing so well, it feels amazing to contribute to our family income. My husband said that this is the best gift I've given him, and we're going to celebrate with some jalebis tonight!"
Being India’s largest storytelling platform, Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Today, on the occasion of Diwali we bring you these festive stories in the hope that we can add some joy to your celebrations with them! Have a Happy Diwali! If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of Bombay.