Some head home, others plan getaways this Diwali


New Delhi : Classes are cancelled and hostels wear a barren look. With Diwali just a day away, students and professionals in the capital who hail from nearby places are heading home to celebrate the festival with their families.

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However, there are still others who have decided to take the opportunity of the extended weekend for a brief getaway in a nearby hill station or a resort.

The five-day Diwali celebrations began Thursday with Dhanteras when it’s auspicious to buy gold. While Diwali itself will be celebrated Saturday, Bhai Dooj will be observed Monday.

Pallavi Jindal, a BPO worker who stays in Delhi but works in Gurgaon, is one of the many who has decided to go home — in Meerut — for the Diwali break.

“It helps that Diwali is on a weekend and Bhai Dooj is right after Sunday. I have been wanting to go home for a long time but didn’t have any official leaves left. This weekend has come as a relief so I am heading home,” Jindal told IANS.

Sudisha Bhola, a researcher, similarly decided to go home in Kurukshetra to enjoy the Diwali break with her family.

“Since the last two years Diwali has been away from home because of all my out-of-station assignments. But this time the extended weekend has come as a huge help. Both Diwali and Bhai Dooj will be with my family and friends this time,” Bhola said.

In a number of educational institutes, teachers have decided to cancel classes for the outstation students, so that they can go home for the festive weekend.

“We requested our college to declare Thursday and Friday as holiday so that we can have a five day break ending on October 19 with Bhai Dooj, and they agreed! Several others like me are also going back home during this time,” said Komal Singh, a 20-year-old management student from Kanpur.

Harsh Sharma, a 21-year-old Delhiite studying in Indore and coming back home for Diwali said: “I wanted to come home on Diwali and this weekend provided the perfect chance”.

Amit Prasad, who works in a software firm said: “Most of my team members are from outside Delhi. They applied for early leave to take an extended Diwali holiday back to their homes. Earlier I was being called in to work, but now the entire team’s got an off on Friday. Good for me!”

However, according to travel agents, there are some who are taking this opportunity of the extended weekend to take a short break to a nearby hill station or other holiday destinations.

Sabina Chopra, co-founder of Yatra, a travel portal told IANS: “True, most people prefer staying at home and celebrating Diwali with their family and friends. However, there are still others, young professionals away from home and otherwise, who have decided to use this extended weekend to get away from the city with a few close friends and celebrate the festival in their own way.”

“Therefore, we have designed a number of holiday packages for this festive weekend and yes, there are many takers,” she added.

Aditi Baruah, an advertising professional in Delhi said: “I am from Assam and although I would have loved to go home for Diwali, it doesn’t make any sense travelling that far for just three days. Therefore, my friends and I have decided to go to Nainital over the weekend and just relax.”