Diwali 2012

10:57 AM


This year we celebrated at home, without any guests and parties, a simple celebration of sorts. We bought some fancier diyas than we usually bought the other years this time around, but since we are all for re-using things they will probably last a few more Diwali. We put them on all 3 balconies, which I had previously decorated with electric lights. DH did his puja while I got Ishita dressed up and we headed down to do some crackers before cooking and eating food...simple!

Now in that short paragraph above you might be wondering why only DH did the puja, the reason is simple, I am not Hindu, and don't plan on being so, and I really don't understand the subtleties of it, or even put a deep personal meaning into it, I do it at my in-law's place because MIL expects it, at home we just drop the pretence, we are an interfaith and intercultural couple.
We dressed up, because that's still a festival and it's fun to do so, even if it was just for 2 hours. I showed Ishita the puja shrine but she was upset from the noise of the crackers and the fact she was in her birthday party dress that in the span of a few months have become a bit tight when it comes to slipping it over the head.
Speaking of crackers, Ishita didn't care about them beyond the 2 first flower pots we lit, simply because all of our neighbours were doing these insane loud bombs, so after a few more we packed up our crackers and went home to start cooking, while Ishita and Jasmine were both super upset with the noise. Now when Diwali is just us and nobody else, DH and I or go out for dinner, or cook chole at home, this year it was the at home cooking plan and of course it was chole, this meal is a partnership, DH loves cooking chole, and I help by making the puri (fried bread) that goes with it, we are both working together in the kitchen, that's a Diwali tradition if you could call it that way. This year however the cooking was not so relaxing, our flat has only big sliding bay windows, all opening on the garden downstairs, and this is the only place where it is possible to do the crackers, so we had our share of loud explosion, a barking neurotic dog and a frightened toddler to deal with.
Between the loud long chain of bursting crackers and a neighbour that bought million "rocket" packs we were served decibel wise. The rocket packs were actually down right dangerous, because the people who bought them burst them right at the food of the building, and us living on the 12th floor we were witnessing the sparkling flowers at eye level, a mere 2-3 meter away from the balcony, with incandescent bits flying into our home! We shut all windows to prevent our furniture from bearing burn mark and the living beings from being injured, the shut windows however did nothing from reducing the noise level, these freaking rockets were all exploding into sparkling bloom just too close to us and I cursed the bloody moron who thought doing them so close to the building was a good idea!
By 10.30pm the worst of the crackers was over, and I opened all the windows again, Ishita fell asleep clutching her stuffed turtle, and the dog went sulking, I was beginning to relax, when one person decided that since everybody left the cracker scene it was time for them to go and do theirs…at 11.15pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
More loud kaboom, more stupid rockets fired right under me windows, more incandescent bits fling into my flat, more shutting the windows, and more tension! And this is supposed to be an upper middle class neighbourhood full of educated people, clearly some missed the classes given on consideration for others and common sense…sigh!
By midnight all was finally quiet, and my ears sadly were paining, I am not sure I could hear any ringing into them at this point but they were really paining, the first time ever since in India that I felt that pain. Fortunately the pain was gone this morning, but it really makes me hate these loud crackers even more than before now. And as I am typing these words now at 11am, some kids are doing more bombs downstairs. Clearly loud crackers and tightly packed together apartment buildings really should never mix.

I posted two videos of the fire crackers noise on my Facebook page, you can go check them there, and if you haven’t liked my page there already, feel free to do so.

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  1. Pradeep Nair12:57 PM

    Somehow, I have an aversion for loud crackers. It's such a disturbance to elders and small children. Sparklers are fun, May be we should forget pollution for a while, and not be a spoilsport!

  2. I never liked loud crackers ever, even as a kid on National day in Switzerland (where they are still much quieter than here thanks to strict regulation fromt he governement). This year I HATE them, because thye should not even be burst right under people's window with the risk of causing harm, I had fireballs coming inside my flat this time, and I live on the 12th floor.
    As for my ears, well right after I clicked sent and published this blog post a loud bang from a cracker outside brought back some of the pain, mild I'll give you that, but still pain.
    Not to mention the giant mess there was downstairs this morning, I should have gone and clicked pictures, the cleaning staff came around noon to clear it up, sweeping heaps of grey dust in the air, and occasionally coming accros a not full burst cracker that would give a mild blow. I seriously felt sorry for them having to clean this mess, inhaling that dust and risking having something blow in their face doing so. :-(


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