Ok, let me kick in with the serious notes then I’ll get into what I got into, on my first Diwali celebration in the motherland…
Diwali is the most auspicious ancient Hindu festival in the country, let alone the world. It is celebrated over a five day period through a variety of rituals and preparations for the main day, or rather night, when the moon is at it’s darkest. The festival is typically celebrated in the fall and spiritually, the festival signifies light over darkness or good over evil, even knowledge over ignorance. The celebration includes every dwelling imaginable draped in lights, be them LEDs like your typical Xmas décor or Diya’s which are small clay pots that have a cotton wick soaked in oil and burn for what seems like eons, that, and they are beautiful in their simplicity.
Now let me tell you the other side of Diwali, where the fun begins…in the days leading up to the fateful night, the streets are lined with vendors selling various fireworks, from sparklers to what your city or town would use for their displays and seeing the exchange rate is completely in the favour of westerners – sky’s the limit – literally!
We, my brother and I, bought a shit ton of fireworks, mainly bottle rockets – I guess I have an afinity for mortar fire, I mean, I like the big displays but I love watching stuff take off. Man, I got some videos, lol, any way, as Diwali night dawned upon us, the family got together at two houses – one was my Pops’ elder brother (RIP) who at the time were boring as all hell – we trying to light the big boys – we did spark off some of the rockets but they were not going up, they kept hitting neighbour houses (houses are made of concrete for the most part, pretty sustainable against mini rocket fire) – on a brighter note, some neighbourhood kids came by and we shot off some of our Diwali ammo with them until eventually moving on to my Aunty’s compound (Pop’s youngest Sister).
My Aunty runs a boarding school across the street from her home and has kids (our cousins) in our age range as well as the boarding kids who didn’t go home for the holiday. Needless to say, on top of the already lit streets and houses and buildings, oh my! The night sky was alight the entire night…actually so much so that in the coming days following Diwali, people were still firing off fireworks until their stashes had run out much to the dismay of the people, animals, amoebas, whatevs…seriously sounded like the town was under attack for 5 days but to be honest, there is very little to do in small towns, so have at it you little pyros, like all kids – there is just something about fire.