Diwali - 2005
November 2, 2005
Diwali was great this year. The best one in recent years. We had so much fun. Pune is great at celebrating festivals. The festive spirit is so high in this city like none I’ve seen before. Since the time, we have moved in, it has been one festival after the other. Ganpati first, followed by Navratri and then now Diwali. There is so much of enthusiasm that for every festival there’s a pandal in every neighborhood and celebration (garba - dance during Navratri) through the night.
News of the serial blasts in Delhi on Saturday was upsetting.
We were in Delhi that day last year enroute Amritsar. We did cracker shopping, gifts for family and friends, cleaning the house over the weekend. We were all set for Tuesday - the day of Diwali. People in Pune apparently celebrate Diwali for 4 days. (We do it just for a day). But the mood was so upbeat that we ended up bursting crackers since Sunday (and discovered all the rotten ones that the shopkeeper had tricked us into buying). They would just go pppppppsssss…….
Monday evening I made a colorful rangoli. This is the first time I did that for Diwali (again influenced by Pune tradition). I will post a few pictures of my rangoli and best picks of my neighborhood soon. Can you believe we were awakened by the crackers at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning? It felt like they were lighting the crackers over our heads. Boom bam it went on and on for hours….So we started our day early with our share around 6:30 a.m. Made sweets like coconut burfi and then it was indulgence in food the rest of the day. Sweets and dry fruits. Meeting friends kept us busy thr the day.
Diwali as such is celebrated in different ways across the country and it also signifies different incidents to people in different states. People in the North perform Laxmi Pooja on the day of Diwali. However, one common tradition that binds them all together is that of bursting crackers.
I must say buying crackers is an art that comes with experience. As a kid, I would plan it carefully a week in advance, dry them in the sun, remove the paper to expose the wick and such, with cousins. It used to be a lot of fun. A lot has changed since then with crackers named after Aishwarya Rai and Nokia. More colorful ones have replaced the noisy ones like the notorious green hydrogen or atom bomb. It is about light than sound now. My favorites this year were the butterfly one (that hops in 3 stages in different colors), the ColorPlus (rocket combined with 3 colors) and the snake tablet (duh..it caused so much of pollution that I stopped after 1). So that was burning a lot of money in an hour. There was a lot left that we gave to the kids.
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