Sunday, October 18, 2009

And the crackers burst on!

It was most likely the scene in every street this morning: a few indefatigable souls making sure that no one forgets it is the morning after Deepavali. As the years go by, the number of such souls seems to be going down.

Time was when Deepavali was a morning event in Chennai; kids would leap out of bed at some unearthly, dark hour of the morning and try to find that thin line between taking long enough over the ganga snanam to satisfy the elders, without taking so much time that the neighbouring children become the first to set off the crackers. By some near-divine coordination, almost every household would be ready for the fire-crackers at around the same time, and folks would greet each other with "Yenna, sir, ganga snanam aacha? Happy Deepavali!".

But the sound of the crackers has become politically incorrect. The lights of the fireworks have become more attractive. Deepavali seems to have become more of an evening festival, at least publicly. I'm sure there are enough households that continue to keep the ganga snanam tradition going, even if slightly more privately than before!

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