They came in many shapes and sizes. Of inordinate length. And of course, the essence was to produce the loudest noise that had the potential of bringing the neighbourhood down ! Who cared about the neighbourhood, it had to be louder than the neighbours fire-cracker !Looked forward to, with a great degree of excitement the purchase process brought endless levels of delight.
I don’t recall when the change started to set in. Mine and my brother’s interest in the fire-cracker started to wane. To a point, where every burst of a cracker was greeted with a grimace usually reserved for a divisive politician.
Today, when i see youngsters queuing up to set off fire-crackers, ( especially at odd times) an urge to talk to these kids emerges from somewhere. To talk to them about simple living, about good over evil, about pragmatic thinking, about making a difference, about having fun without causing inconvenience etc etc.
I guess i wear on my sleeve, whats on the mind. At least, that’s what the data indicates , from my wifes responses. And of course, she knows my pet peeves !
Today, as she serves dinner, she cocks her head and asks me, ‘what would you have done, if somebody told you to live a simple life etc etc, when you were all set to burst a cracker?’. I laugh and say, at that age i perhaps would have burst a louder fire cracker !
‘Old man, do you think we can afford more noise’ she asks. I get the hint. Suddenly whats on the dinner plate seems interesting.
Somewhere below, a fire-cracker goes off. I can hear it. Loud and clear. And that sound segues me into my wonder years. I see in my mind, vivid scenes. Of me setting of loud crackers in brand new clothes and raw happy energy.
Perhaps the kid who set off the fire-cracker will remember this night, many years laterr, just like i did today. Triggered by a cracker from somewhere, grimacing at the noise and smiling at the memory of his wonder years.
And of course, his wife’s dinner !
Diwali is here.