On the eve of Diwali, all that was going on in every Indian male’s mind was the fireworks that were being displayed at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. The idea of doing anything else on such an important day, the finale of such a nail-biting and excitement-inducing one-day series, was ludicrous to the cricket-loving junta that inhabits this wonderful nation. Indeed, though I haven’t seen all of the fireworks on screen or in the ground, I could very well say that they had set every Indian’s heart racing with hope and pride. Rohit Sharma would later be referred to as “roHIT Sharma”.
During the course of the backlash meted out to the Indian bowlers by Faulkner, there were prayers and hopes and leaps of faith, but underneath all that, there was also a sense of appreciation for the resistance being offered despite them being 8 wickets down. And this was pouring in the form of statuses and tweets.
There was a time when I switched on the television to get a taste of what was going on there, but then we decided that watching the Indian bowlers being walloped by a suddenly brutal James Faulkner was not such a good idea. So we changed the channel and tuned back in a half an hour later. And what do you know! India had won! And now I half-dreading, half-eagerly, logged in to Facebook. Yes, I was right. My news feed was full of witty comments and interesting statuses in jubilation and the euphoria that surrounds an Indian win. Even I joined in the party a bit, though it was not a direct expression of the joy.
Diwali arrived. And all I could hear were the noises that marked the festival of lights. From the time I woke up in the morning till the time I wrote all this, all I could hear were Laxmi bombs, ladis, the crackling of the Anars, the swish of the rockets and the fizzling out of a few of the damp fireworks. Also, children! Children and their excitement of lighting a firework, their disappointment at a firework gone wrong, their squeals of joy and their screams of frustration: you heard it all. And you heard it all despite the other noises erupting all around you. Well, Diwali is after all a festival that commands high decibel levels.
You cannot help but enjoy the festival in spite of all the bright lights that blind you, the loud noises that deafen you and the pollution that chokes you. You feel happy somewhere deep within when you see something that you lit up go off in flashes of brilliance. But as you look up at the fireworks on display, your eyes are diverted to the smoke drifting around in the air, and you cannot help but think. Is all this worth hazarding the life of the planet for? Just for the sake of mankind’s entertainment?
Well, let us leave those questions to another day. For now, enjoy the fireworks. On the cricket field and off it. In your homes, in your hearts and in your lives. Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy and a safe Diwali.
Picture Courtesy: 100year.in