And then there was light…

…for the few of us who hadn’t gone home, ‘no diyas, no agarbattis, no lavang ke fataake, no hydrogen bombs’ all seemed to be the order of the day. ‘God, no one celebrates Diwali in Chennai’ were the catcalls for those of us still hoping.

Well whoever said ‘hope springs eternal’ spoke the truth.

A few of us enterprising souls decided that we wouldn’t be left out; we’d light up the city! And so we celebrated Diwali, right here, in Chennai.

Fircrackers! Sparklers! All of the delights a child could dream of, us adults had! And for all those still disapprovingly nodding their heads…Chennai celebrates Diwali…with as much elan as any other city in India.

The few of us who ventured out to buy firecrackers witnessed layers over layers of people crowding the firecracker stalls. As evening set in one by one everyone gathered around the ‘great lakes’, each surprised at the deafening noise that began before we lit a single firecracker. We were supposed to have taught Chennai how to celebrate Diwali…Chennai taught us how to do it in style!

The sky lit up, so did our eyes. For every cracker we burst, there were hundred others. This festival of lights, while we missed one family, we found another.

(Rakesh Jaddu)

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