Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rather forgotten things!

With the rather noisier part of the year, called the Diwali having come to an end, it is time to talk about some things that are not famous, yet were indispensable parts of a few's routine Diwali celebrations.

Here and now, the small chubby kid from next door, wearing his coat and suit dress goes onto place the rocket in the bottle in the middle of the road, and gleefully watches as it goes on its upward journey, and frantically running inside when he realizes that the destination was, in fact some old bloke's balcony. Lot of fun, I tell you.

However, sometimes, besides all this gala, there're the elders who've seen enough Diwalis in their lifetime to squeeze joy out of crackers than out of sleeving the fuse for their grandchildren. Smalltalk with them is usually wonderful. Remembering the many things, some wonderful, some stupid that you did with the fellow idiots of your village and laughed about it for hours and hours!

And, those things are nevertheless, really really stupid.

Like, holding the 'Saram'(string of small crackers that goes out like a Machine gun) in the hand while bursting it, holding the 'Rocket' in your hand and throwing it up to give it, that extra jumpstart, following that parachute which came out of the rocket, so far that you eventually lost your way and had to ask atleast a dozen people to find your way back home. No phones those days, mind you. These things were the ones done with the usual crackers. But here's a list that you wouldn't find often, a list you would probably be familiar with, if you celebrated a Deepavali in a small town / village.

1. வெங்காய வெடி ( The Onion )

As I would like to call it, the 'Ninja cracker' ! For all its worth, this is probably the only thing that makes you feel like a ninja ( unless you're really into Parkour). Throw it down hard on the ground and watch it explode on impact like the smoke bombs used by Ninjas.

Looks like even Batman knows about it -

2. ஓல வெடி ( The Palmleaf )

The one that looks like a 'tie'; yes, 'tie'. It has a long tail with a bulged front where the powder is present. Very ideal to hold in the hand while bursting, and very very ideal to throw towards someone ( Imagine shouting, "This is Sparta!!" and throwing :-P ) But then, be careful! The long tail could end up swerving the cracker towards you after all :-D

3. மின்னல் வெடி ( The Thunder )

Our very own atom bomb. A wonderful local cracker, I must say. And, very noisy. The shockwave that comes when this one bursts, is definitely something different. You oughta know it, you burst it! Very dangerous though, not to be thrown or burst with the hands ( Personal experience of having a  bandaged hand for a week ).

4. மூல வெடி ( I don't know how to translate this - too many equivalent words )

Very similar to the 'Thunder'; you could say that these two are the Atom Bomb - Hydrogern Bomb pair of our நாட்டு  வெடி  கடை ( Local Cracker Store ).

As you keep talking to the old guys, who take a backseat and enjoy watching the young ones having their fill, you come to realize how much you miss those crackers that were only available in small towns and villages. You also come to think that when you who have only spent a couple of years bursting them is missing them, what about your elder generation, who practically grew up with it?

I am not an advocate of "No crackers for Diwali." I believe that bursting / not bursting is each one's own choice. Pollution, yes, definitely. But worry about it when you take your vehicle to the shop next street or when you forget to clean your exhaust and becoming a psuedo-mosquito van! Also, when you carelessly forget to switch off your lights and fans and when you waste food which took valuable amount of electricity and gas to cook. Don't become a judge for one day.

Festivals are unique each in their own way. Without crackers, it would be like a mime sans action.

Hoping you all had a wonderful Diwali ! Ciao.