by Richa Chaturvedi ’18
When I was a kid, Diwali was all about the sweets. My sister and I would fill up on just about anything we could get our hands on. I would always go light on dinner because I about the delicious treats that awaited me.
Growing up, Diwali became more and more about the Indian dishes. There’s food as far as the eye can see. Diwali dinner lasts for hours – you just keep eating. The colorful food brightened up the table and made you feel warm inside.
Coming to Harvard, I’ve realized that Diwali is mostly about being with your family. It’s like any other holiday; the food brings people together, sitting and talking in one place. The rest of the world is paused.
HUDS created that feeling for students missing home on Diwali this year. While nothing quite beats a home-cooked Indian meal, standing in the dining hall and smiling at familiar names of dishes created a place for me where time stood still. I told my friends what to get. I showed them which dishes tasted best together, but ended up mixing everything together because that’s what I always do. I was so excited to be able to share things from home with them. It felt like Diwali.
Props to HUDS, because I was pretty impressed with the Indian selection tonight. The daal was on point and the basmati rice with peas was a nice touch. The vegetables in the coconut curry and idlis also deserve an honorable mention. It’s probably also important to note that my friends who have never had Indian food before ate it and liked it – I’m not saying that this was authentic or anything, but HUDS did good work as an introduction, a transition piece if you will. While I’ll end the night at brain break eating a classic PB&J, it was nice to be reminded of home. So thank you HUDS, you did good.