Friday, October 20, 2006


Scariest Diwali memory: Placing an "unwrapped" "atom bomb" on a servant's palm and setting that little box on fire (remember that ridiculously loud "green twine around the box" firecracker, marketed as "Jolly Atom Bomb"?) No serious burns, luckily.

Kim Jong-Il says sorry and so do I.

Second-most scary Diwali memory: setting a very large, dry Lantana bush on fire, thanks to a couple of exuberantly flung sparklers.

Victory of stupidity over common sense.

Coming-of-age Diwali memory: I was 15, already too old for firecrackers but too young to be hanging out with the "seniors" at school and participating in their rites of passage (virgin sacrifice and stuff like that.) So that Diwali, I walked around town all alone, hands in my pocket, feeling completely lost. Faces look ugly when you are alone. I can quote the Doors if I want to.

A Diwali memory that still gives me goosebumps: Diwali morning, sister arrives from Bombay and gifts me a copy of "Abbey Road". I've received far more expensive gifts than a cassette tape but I've never received a gift that has affected me so deeply. And it happened on Diwali.

Wherever you may be on Saturday night, I hope you have a memorable Diwali.


Alok said...

wonderful post !!

just wanted some clarification and details about the "virgin sacrifice." :)

Salil said...

Virgin sacrifices?
Right, this demands another post. :)

Have only celebrated a few Diwalis myself, all of which took place during a five year period in my childhood when in Bombay. All wonderful times with family, good food, firecrackers all over the place and such.

Saudi Arabia or Hong Kong were never particularly good areas to celebrate such a festival though, for numerous reasons of all types...

MockTurtle said...

When did 15 become too old for firecrackers?
You must have been one of those fie-on-you-immature-peasants type insufferable teenagers.

Tabula Rasa said...

one of the best diwalis i had (i usually hated it, thanks already, mt), was when an older cousin came down from iit and we set up this ELABORATE interconnected fuse system all over the terrace, straightening out those coiled sparklers and using them as leads between various random explosives parked ~ esthetically ~ all over.

km said...

MT, when you go around quoting Camus at 15, the label "insufferable teenager" is unavoidable :))

TR: very esthetic, I am sure.

Alok and Salil: :D