I Belong Series: Meet Vibhatha, Software Engineer

Vibhatha, one of PetSmart's Software Engineers and an awesome member of the pack shares what Diwali means to her and lets us share in the celebration!


The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other. To learn more about the “I Belong” Series or to submit your stories, please visit our new Belonging Fetch Page.




Diwali is no doubt my favorite festival of all! For those who do not know, Diwali is an Indian festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and victory of light over darkness. Diwali is derived from the word “Deepavali” meaning a row of lights. As per the Indian calendar, this year, Diwali was celebrated from November 14 - November 18, with each day carrying its own special meaning and traditions.


Preparation begins with people cleaning their homes and decorating with flowers, lamps, and lights. At my home, it was a full house, and thankfully the pandemic did not keep us from celebrating. My children, parents, siblings, and cousins enjoyed decorating the house with colorful lights and making colorful patterns of sand in our front yard called “Rangoli.” As a team, we prepared spicy and sweet meals, performed a traditional early morning oil bath, and dressed in colorful traditional clothing. We were fortunate to have friends join us to burst fireworks at dusk, symbolizing joy and victory of light over darkness. We ended the day’s celebration with delicious food and of course a lot of sweets.


This festival means so much to me and my family because it reminds us to always do the right thing and assures us that we will be successful when we are on the right path.


I also believe that PetSmart’s value, United Together, speaks directly to the celebration of Diwali. It is a moment where people forget their differences, come together, and celebrate joyfully. I see this reflected at PetSmart - we are treated equally, we celebrate one another, and we are united together under one umbrella, regardless of where we came from. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful company.

I hope all who celebrate Diwali had a safe and fun-filled time this year! Happy Diwali!