Was this Diwali special? – An article for Our Vadodara Magazine

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With Diwali round the corner, your inbox must be already filled with those earthen lamps complemented by the mandatory line ‘Deepavali ki hardik shubhkaamnaayein’, often prodding you to light up diyaas instead of crackers. As true-blue Gujaratis, we love to have a blast during Diwali – quite literally.

If some choose to pack their bags off for an exotic vacation, some gang up and plan a Daman-Diu break for obvious reasons (To know importance of these destinations, kuch din to guzaariye Gujarat mein!), some light up diyaas and update their FB status as if they just saved the earth, while others choose to just laze around, watching TV and digging into those sweet indulgences.

Some, unlike the rest, set out to do something hatke – sharing their joys with others. There’s a guy (We presume he won’t like to be named) who sets out to distribute blankets among the poor every winter. Mind you, he isn’t any Ambani-Bambani, but a humble driver. Speaking of driver reminds us of yet another driver who drives the change:

As the festival mood was about to set in, we received a story by Jit Makim, which restored our faith in the people of Vadodara – the Sanskaari Nagari. It was Jit’s grandmother’s birthday and she wished to visit few Derasars (Jain Temples) in the vicinity. Accompanied by Jit’s aunt, this old lady hiked an auto-rickshaw. They fix up the route and the estimated amount and begin their Derasar Darshan.

The auto wallah suggested a longer route that would include the newly constructed Akota Bridge, which in his words, would be fun. They ended up taking a longer route than they’d agreed upon, making the ladies realize he might demand more amount and were almost prepared for what might transpire.

To their utter surprise, the auto wallah refused to take a single rupee from them. In a world where auto drivers fight tooth and nail for even ten bucks, here was a guy who bowed and touched the old lady’s feet and wished her Happy Birthday.

He later revealed them that he happened to overhear their conversation and hence came to know about her birthday. This was his way of making the old lady’s birthday special.

So, what’s your way making this Diwali special?

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