Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ghar Wali Diwali

It was just the other day I had posted on my social network about Diwali having arrived early on my street with a dozen kids having the time of their lives with albeit the puniest of firecrackers. I doubt there’s another Indian festival that brings people together as best as Diwali does. Lighting up everyone’s faces, stuffing in whatnot sweets and savories in sight calories long forgotten, meeting with friends and family, teasing newly-wed cousins over their first Diwali experiences, the warmth of this festival grows even as I type. 

For me two stories come to mind when Diwali approaches.

I was daddy’s daredevil girl growing up. (I still am :)) Like the dads of most tomboy girls out there, my dad would tag me along to participate in butch experiments one of which involved a rainy Diwali evening and lack of road space to set crackers on. I was around 4 years old then. Daddy Daring decided to shift the action to the verandah just inside the compound of our tiny set of apartments and before we knew it, I was happily assisting him with firepower. Things were fine for a while before a rogue flower pot ended up in my hands, dad and I went ahead with our now well-practised routine where he'd hold my hands as I lighted a flower pot and we'd both scamper to safety before it began to erupt into waterfall flames. Except, this one exploded on the spot sending a shower of hot debris at us, my right thumb under attack and stinging. Of course I wailed the town down and was the focus of all medical attention for the rest of the night. I carry a scar from that experience, one that has always added to my street cred, and it still remains one of my fondest memories of spending time with my dad. The best part was, we returned to the cracker pile the next day, mishap long forgotten, a different hopefully unrogue cracker to light. My daddy strongest. :) 

Story #2 happened two years later. Diwali is a time of very early rising in my household and I mean the dead of the night. For a kid, waking up during the graveyard shift, despite the temptation of delicious food in the waiting, is tantalizing. So this particular year I was completely knocked out after having woken up early, engaged in some serious cracker sessions with the cousins, and quite simply having exhausted all my energy by around 7 a.m. While everyone else continued to bring the neighborhood down with the loudest of bursts, I quietly snuggled in on my grandfather’s bed, neatly cordoned off by a cloth screen, lost in the wonders of rest. Four hours later, when I woke up, rubbing my sleepy eyes, wanting my hungry stomach to be filled, the entire house was in pandemonium. Everyone stared at me like I was a ghost, one of my aunts almost fainted; my mother was in tears, my father furious. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation back then, only later. My family had been convinced I’d been kidnapped! I’d been missing for over four hours, they’d turned the town upside down and all the while I’d been snoring away in a corner of the house. :) Ah, Diwali!

This post was written for IndiBlogger's Ghar Wali Diwali category. 

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