I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of the Late John Wright, or heard his rendition of “Caledonia”.
It’s a pity that I discovered him after his death. His is a voice, for which I would cheerfully have cobbled together the money to travel to England, to hear in person. This is a version I have listened to, almost one hundred times in the last month, and never tire of it. It almost always brings tears to my eyes, and this is rare.
Listen to this song before you read on. Listen to the feeling, the emotion, and you will know what I mean. It is truly magnificent.
The song is indeed about Caledonia, yet at a larger level, it is a song about going home, and the love that a person has for his, or her, home or country.
Diwali, while it is a festival of lights, is also all about homecoming. This is when the town of Ayodhya was lit up to celebrate the homecoming of Ram and his wife, Sita, and brother Lakshman, after fourteen years in exile.
This is one reason why we always try to be at home on Diwali. It is about homecoming.
Yet, in India, and I am sure, in many parts of the world, there is a dark side to it.
There is a justifiable debate ongoing these days, about the use of firecrackers and their impact on the environment.
However, we do often forget about those who don’t have either a home or a name. A subset of the homeless who die on the streets every year, is a group of those who also die nameless.
What do they dream of, or think of, when they sit alone on the streets, as the fire crackers go off?
Diwali is all about homecoming. It is about your love for your home.
Those who are on the streets, homeless, dream – I am sure – of the homes they once had, or desire.
Or, their minds are just blank.