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A little boy couldn’t contain his excitement as he walked across several shops that were selling different kinds of fireworks in a noisy and crowded Indian bazaar. Diwali was just a few days away, and he wanted to be armed with the best “ammunition” available that year…

If the legends are to be believed, Diwali, the festival of lights, has been celebrated from a time, even before the Egyptian pyramids were built. Diwali marks the day when an exiled king returned home after fourteen years and was welcomed by joyous people who lit their homes to display their happiness. Diwali, in its quintessential form, is a celebration of undying hope and communal oneness. It was only fitting that Egnyters belonging to diverse nationalities came together to organize and celebrate this joyous festival.

To be honest, I was a little skeptical when Katrina, our director of Engineering, sent out an email asking people to dress up in their Indian outfits for Diwali. I was not sure if most people even owned such clothing. Much to my delight, many of our Indian colleagues lent their outfits to team members without them. It was pretty awesome to see the little Indian garment store that had opened up around the QA cubicle area, and there were quite a few excited Diwali shoppers. Some of our adventurous friends also went shopping for Indian clothes and accessories a day before the event. Certainly, there was a Diwali buzz in the air, and people were getting excited!

On the day of Diwali, I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped into a product managers’ meeting and saw my colleagues Kevin and Kash dressed in their Indian Sherwanis. A funny incident occurred during the meeting. Our CEO Vineet, dressed very elegantly in his Indian kurta and pajamas, walked in unexpectedly during the meeting and excitedly asked us if we were all ready to celebrate. It was evident that Vineet, who usually has a calm demeanor, couldn’t hide his genuine excitement for celebrating Diwali. During the course of the morning, I noticed many others, from Marketing, Sales, Support and HR, had come beautifully dressed in their Indian attire.

Our Diwali celebration kicked off at lunch time with a delicious spread of Indian food and lively Bollywood music. After seeing the enthusiasm for Indian costumes the previous day, we had decided to organize a fashion show for our serious fashion aficionados. It was none other than Vineet who walked down the runway as our first fashion model. Quickly, others volunteered to flaunt their fashion skills and dance moves. It was hilarious to watch the lighter side of people that I have never seen outside of work. The combination of “desi” food and lively Indian music seemed to have its positive effects. Egnyters cheered for their favorite stars amidst relentless photo-clicks by the “paparazzi.” The party had truly taken off.

If the fashion show was hilarious, the Diwali quiz was extremely competitive. We had four teams: Marketing, Engineering, Sales and the founders. The questions were primarily about Diwali, and our teams were knowledgeable. After the closely contested quiz, we concluded the event with henna decoration. Gurneet, Purvi and Vijay graciously volunteered to help decorate hands with henna, and the designs that they created on people’s hands were fantastic.

As I walked back to my cubicle with the Bollywood music still playing in the background, I couldn’t help thinking about the time when I was that young boy at the Indian bazaar. Diwali still brings out a similar kind of excitement in me, even after three decades and living halfway across the globe. Egnyters truly sparked Diwali into a joyful and memorable occasion for all of us. I can’t wait to see what new levels our team will take next year in celebration of this great holiday.

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