Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Dhoom Diwali Dhamaka Mumbai Ishstyle
It's 5 am. I'm traversing the deep caverns of my subconscious when a boom cracks through and nearly destroys my sanity. Welcome to Diwali in Mumbai. It doesn't stop there. The kids here are a lot more sadistic. They don't burst all their bombs in quick succession (the crackers in question are the ear piercing 'atom' variety). Instead they give you 5 minute gaps of blissful silence and just when you've let your mind slide back into some shut eye, another sonic blast, another cry of anguish and I'm feverishly grabbing every pillow I can find, under which I can stuff myself.
Then there was the October heat, combining the baking suffocation of Delhi and the damp stickiness of Mumbai. Never before have I shed tears at the first cool draught of an AC. Deliciously cold showers and blissfully tall cool glasses of water also served to assuage the scorching. I always maintained that there is NOTHING like water. I stand vindicated once more.
This was a time for family as well, close, large, affectionate, boistrous, ages ranging from 2 months (I've become a fond uncle again) to 90. As usual my hair, surplus and curly as it is was a topic of great discussion. There were cousins who proudly proclaimed that I look like Mangal Pandey, some who expressed envy, some who ribbed me about looking like a girl from behind ("oh Hari we could be sisters!" :D), some quietly disapproving, some more vociferously and an ever growing queue of aunts who have threatened to chop it all off in my sleep. Funny sight that would've been, a lanky lad running through the streets of Mumbai, screaming, "My hair, my hair." I've had nightmares about this. *Shudder* But none of that happened and we all instead discussed various treatments and shampoos, very useful indeed considering the origin of my wild hair genes.
I managed to catch up with some old and dear friends in the process. J, Ridhi and Ann it was fantastic to hang out with you again, after AGES!
Diwali here holds special significance to all Mumbaikars. The religious ramifications apart, it is a time to take a breath in a city that never rests. It is a time to rediscover family ties. It is a time to decorate - almost every home, Bandra bungalow to Dharavi hovel sport a wide range of decorations and lights, turning a dour, don't-have-time-for-you Mumbai into a veritable fairyland of good cheer and colours. It is a time to smile and laugh, a time to love and this is starting to sound like Turn!Turn!Turn! :D
Quite an apt song for a Dhoom Diwali Dhamaka Mumbai Ishstyle.
P.S. Mumbai is a street photographers multiple-O. I'm sure many people will heartily agree.