Sunday, November 7, 2010

I could live without them...

I wish I could really write about the 'people' I could live without, but no. There is no room for hate on this blog! Or in my life too at the moment. I'm trying to make my world a better place, you see. But I don't think others get the idea; and I mean literally in the sense of making "this world" a better place.

It was Diwali two days ago, and since it is a long festival, the celebrations are still on. It is supposed to be the highlight of the year in India; when it comes to festivities I mean. Otherwise the IPL  (or anything to do with 1. cricket and 2. football) takes precedence over everything. People live for cricket here; well, most of them at least. I'm not sure what the situation would be like if Diwali and cricket coincided!

Diwali is the celebration of the return of Lord Rama from his fourteen year long exile with Sita and Laxamana after emerging victorious at the battle in Lanka with Ravana. At that time, Ayodhya was decorated with lights and crackers were burst to welcome them. The same tradition has been passed on over centuries and this is how Diwali is celebrated even today.

People start cleaning and beautifying their homes weeks before Diwali, they deck up in new and colourful clothes and accessories, sweets are made at home and exchanged with family, friends and neighbors, oil lamps are lit, beautiful rangolis are created at the entrances and crackers are burst!

Every aspect of Diwali that I have mentioned above, thrills me. I don't even mind doing chores like cleaning every inch of the house, changing curtains, bedsheets; everything. And rangolis; I simply enjoy putting them!! So much that I used to change the design every two or three days and make a new one.

(I haven't put rangoli since we moved here, though. I stopped right after the first year because a few kids from the building brutally ruined it by writing bad words on it with their fingers! While I was back in Andheri, I used to keep the door open and guard my rangolis from the mischievous children because it takes a lot of time and effort to make one. The year I made it here, I had been away to attend classes for about four hours, and it was all it took for the kids to spoil it. I vowed that I won't put rangoli while I was living in this building because even though the risk at my previous building was only of the rangoli getting rubbed by someone's feet, I never expected that anyone would write bad words on it. So I decided that my current building didn't deserve to have a beautiful rangoli right at its entrance. (we live on the ground floor)) 

But here are a few old pictures that I have... These pictures were taken sometime between when I was in the 9th and 10th standards... (2000-2001) So they are almost 10 years old. But I love them!!!

A standard Rangoli pattern made by connecting dots.. It is made and decorated using coloured powder. The brown background is called Geru. It is available in the form of a rock that you can crush and then mix with water to form a paste. The paste is then spread over the floor so that you have a plain canvas like effect to be able to see what you are drawing. It kinda helps to hide the effect of patterns on floor tiles.
A free hand pattern that I tried. If I ever sit with a blank paper and a pencil, and I'm asked to draw, this is the exact same patter I would draw EVERY TIME. It's weird that I can't think of any other scenery. And this was the 9th standard... Somewhere around October-Novermber 2000.
This is what the entire design looked like.
This was inspired by a drawing on the cover of one of my notebooks. :)
I can't believe there was a time when Natasha and I looked like this. This I think was during 10th Standard... Oct-Nov 2001 that is.
Now THIS one is an original design!!! I had seen someone make a huge rangoli out of coarse grains of salt. Instead of using the free flowing rangoli powder (which if used, would have taken hours for completing a design this large) the large grains of salt made filling the design easier. I decided to make a design of my own  and using the same technique to colour it. I asked the neighbours (four of them including our family - you can see four geru backgrounds on the floor, one made by each family for their own rangoli) to not put any rangoli outside their homes because I wanted to put one huge one at the center which would serve all four families, and they let me!!! If you look at the rangoli design next to mine in the first picture and the picture before this one, you would know why!!! :P
Apart from the tradition of the Rangoli, I am enthusiastic about other things as well. I'll even eat some of the sweets although I prefer the salty snacks and I'll even bear visiting thousands of people and exchanging thaalis (plates) of sweets with them. I really don't mind all that.

But the only thing that I simply can't bear, are the crackers. I hate them. Period.

Even as a child, I was never a fan of fireworks that made deafening noises when they burst. Back then, it was because I was scared. I was happy with the phool jhadi, zameen chakris and anaars - fireworks that didn't make any sound. But after the 9th standard, I've not even touched those. I just lit a phool jhadi and even that was for a picture.

Even though it is a tradition, sometimes people take it too far. They are at it for hours, incessantly - or at least what seems like hours. And with new crackers that have sounds that make your heart jump, windows rattle and ears almost deaf to every other sound around you every time one bursts; things have gotten worse than they used to be.

People have started to not think about when they burst crackers and even the time limit set is blatantly ignored. I've heard crackers being burst up till as late as one in the morning. Even during the time when they are allowed, it becomes impossible for people to watch TV, talk to each other or even rest. It's just noise and nothing is accomplished.

And it's not just the noise. What about the smoke and its contribution to pollution; not to mention that fire-crackers carry a major risk if kids are bursting them unsupervised? And living on the ground floor doesn't make things any easier, because you get to feel the impact of the noise and the smoke ten times as much as anyone! Yay! Ugh!

I am tired of all the 'Boom!,' 'Bam!' sounds that I've been hearing the past two days and I'm sure they are going to continue at least for another three or four days. And if you know about how my head associates these sounds with gun-shots, you'll know why I have a bigger problem with these things, especially when I hear one out of nowhere in the middle of the night! Even though I know it's the sound of fire crackers, I can't help thinking otherwise. :(

Really long story short; I could live without these things, I really could. And if everyone just stops using fire crackers, they'll be amazed to see how awesome Diwali can still be without all the noise. Because the colourful festivities and other traditions are what make Diwali what it is. Not these dumb-ass, good-for-nothing, ear-drum-tearing-noise-making crackers!!!

Oh... And Happy Diwali!!! :) This is me on Diwali day... I was at Cafe Coffee Day after visiting the Siddhi Vinayak temple that morning. I was wearing a pink dress, with pink ear-rings, pink bindi, pink nail polish, pink bangles and even pink shoes!! I decked up all right!! ;)

P.S. The Blog-Hop starts today at My Happy 5. I hope to see you all there!! You can find the details here... :D