Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A belated sad, lonely diwali post

One more diwali post. But not that joyous, noisy occasion where we willing burnt money, added to the already dangerous levels of pollution burst our ear drums god knows why sort of a diwalil post. A sad, wallowing in self pity, lonely, only lit by thin candles, quiet sort of a post.

I always enjoyed diwali. First as a kid (a scaredy-cat), watching Ma lighting and bursting from a distance. Later on, with enormous energy and enthusiasm I'd get everyone togther, bully the residents of our building to cough up for our diwali funds, buy the crackers and general have a great time (but always the scaredy cat, I and my co-organiser, would be the first to leave the crowded terrace and hide under the water tank as soon as the first cracker was burst).

This year, however, diwali was a very low-key affair for me. Alone with the in-laws. They were happy and content with each other's company. I was somehow all lost, all by myself (A is away in France). We lit some diyas and candles, m-i-l handling the downstairs and f-i-l and I the upstairs terrace bit. We found half a string of tiny bulbs. We got a very sleepy kid (2 boys have rented the mezzanine floor - but at any given time, there are usually 6 to 7 boys and usually all new faces!) to hoist it up on their terrace. Then we went back to our regular pattern of T.V, T.V-dinner, more T.V and then bed sandwiched between our neighbours, Nowlakhas on the left and Guptas on the right kept bursting all through the night, and chose to burst them in front of our gate. And there were the others behind our house. I wallowed in self pity ....then slowly the smell of barud (gunpowder???) or whaterver it is they use to make crackers permeated indoors from all sides and we set up a nice concert coughing. And always one after the other, never all together. I buried myself deep in my razai and yet I thought, the pillow, the mosquito net, the bedsheets smelt of barud. My eyes hurt, I thought I was gasping for breath. Will we all be found dead tomorrow in our beds?

Funny, I never noticed the noise, the barud, the pollution, the smog and not to mention the sheer waste of money going up literally in smoke while so many starve, before. Sigh!

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