Diwali - rather Deepavali - seems to be a bigger thing over here than back home. Classmates asking you of your plans for the big day, discount offers in stores, a garishly decorated Atheneum, endless specials on the boob tube, et al.
It’s a different thing that the TV specials are not even remotely related to Diwali. Consider Channel I’s lineup for the day - An American pop music concert from 2002, Magnificent Seven, Lagaan, Air Up There and Shaft. Wow! Now that’s festive!
For me, Diwali used to mean three things - new clothes, great food and fireworks. As my head crossed the 5 feet mark, new clothes weren’t such a big deal anymore. That’s the insouciant stage of life, at least in such matters. So those were the uncaring days when the F words were all that mattered.
IIT, and the one and only Ganga mess shortened that list to just one member. And although our good dean, Prof. Gokhale, did everything in his power to snip it down to nothingness, I was determined to hold on to at least the fireworks.
The honeymoon with the sparklers lasted for four years. Four wonderful years I should say, for who was to know that I would end up in Singapore. The land of the No U-Turn Syndrome (NUTS for short). Without waiting for peer enlightenment, I rightly rationalized that crackers would be banned here. Just like crack and cracks.
So that’s the exit of the last of the F words from my life - or at least from my Diwali days and Diwali nights.
But the big day isn’t here yet. So maybe something interesting will actually happen! I, for one, am keeping my fingers crossed.