October 31, 2005 @ 11:51 am
Ladies and gentlemen, wish you a very Happy Diwali.
Every year, Diwali has sort of represented the changes in my life.
As a kid, I used to love this festival.
I would wake up at 5 in the morning and have my bag of crackers (which always seemed small) ready.
The entire morning required a lot of attention and detail.
The matchbox and the incense stick had to be searched and kept ready.
The first thing that would be lit was the loud green cracker (the one that looked like a ball of wool).
After the loud bang which would wake up my neighbours, I would move on to bursting the famous “bijli” crackers.
These used to be my favourite since a bag full of them would last an hour and you could just keep bursting them one after the other effortlessly.
As I got braver in terms of my outlook towards crackers, I took to lighting them in my hand, throwing them in the air and watch them burst before they hit the ground.
I felt proud of being able to do so.
Once all the crackers got exhausted, we would set out collecting all the paper (generated by the crackers) and burn them.
Just for the heck of it.
As knowledge (the necessary evil) set in, I learnt about child labour.
I also learnt that all the factories that manufactured these crackers employed children.
I decided not to buy any crackers.
Then, on Diwali, my neighbour came in with his bag of crackers.
My cousin came in with another bag.
Within no time, I was lighting sparklers and firing musical rockets.
Child labour and related issues were overshadowed in my mind by the light and dazzle of those beautiful and enchanting flower pots.
I was once again a fan of Diwali.
Every year there was puja at my uncle’s shop.
After the puja, all kids were given 11 rupees, which slowly increased to 21 and 51 in later years.
I also can’t forget the fact that we would get to drink as much Torino as we wanted. (Torino was an orange flavoured aerated drink and I loved it.)
Those 21 rupees would promptly result in another packet of bijli.
Advancing further on the age axis led to interest in things other than crackers.
Diwali became more of a symbolic festival for me, and I would attend the puja knowing at the back of my mind that there were things higher than this in life.
What exactly those things were I have never figured out. I guess I just found it cool to think so.
Torino was replaced by Pepsi, but my zing for both was no where around.
51 rupees didn’t really mean anything anymore.
I started appreciating diyas more than crackers.
Now when I think about it, I find it funny that I thought that way. Whatever.
But then, few minutes of watching some one burn crackers would still get me into the whole thing and I would be lighting them myself.
I end this post here, abruptly.
Ladies and gentlemen, have a blast.
Happy Diwali once again