Friday, October 20, 2006

Diwali in USA

Was SriLanka actually the cause of Diwali? Was is only because Lord Ram conquered the small island and cleared the evil from earth and the homecoming was celebrated by jubilant Indians? Was it Goddess Durga who killed the demon on this day that we got to celebrate this day? Whatever be it Diwali brings a streak of joy into our lives. Theoritically demolishing the darkness and bringing us rays of new hope and clearing out the hazy mist of gloom surrounding us, Diwali rejuvenates us.

Back in India, for people, it is one day off from office and worse if it falls on a weekend! Lots of Fun, and excitement. The louder the cracker is the better Diwali gets. When I was in India last year this time, it had been so much fun. Know what, i had friends who could actually go to a countryside where the actual manufacturing units were! We got loads of all sorts of stuff as if we were going to fight the world war! Dozens of friends' faces suddenly come live from just being email IDs to person coz lots of them come home on a vacation and it is real fun.

In US, the scenario is completely different.

Not a sound. Complete silence of the cool fall season with some leaves rustling in the evening. My devilish mind was thinking of ways how to burst something and the only way which came to me and was feasible was to fill a polythene bag brought from IndiaMart and Foodmart with air, close the mouth of it and slap it hard so that it bursts!!!! - Happy Diwali to Indians in the USA.

Osama.. Bin Laden..
If you try to burst something which makes a larger sound that that above, then chances are that you will get a complete green card to stay in the US on the charges of being a terrorist and the color of your skin will make you the best candidate for that. All kinds of Zajeera, Quaeeda will suddenly start making sense to you and the 911 number!

People tell me that at the local Middletown temple, we have a puja and there are lamps lit so that people here atleast remember a day when we lit lamps to celebrate the victory of light over darkness. Complete ABCD - American Born Confused Desi! Met a girl in Orkut (Thanks to the Google Accuisition, Orkut is common place Open Bathroom now!) who is Indian by name and American by everything else. I asked if she knows about Diwali and she said yes- Know what?

The price of the airline tickets to India at that time of the year soars up and we avoid travelling to India during that time. This is Diwali to people over here in the US. Often at times when i see people at the temple, i think about myself. We are all here because there is something which has kept us away from our homes but the culture we have of faith in God still remains, and the longer that message gets passed on to the newer generations the better for all of us.

Well, it is not that bland.

In US, in areas as New Jersey and Boston, we do have Diwali celebrations and in the mini-India - New Jersey, you could actually find people with crackers. And there are cultural nites organised so that people chill out in the evening. Contrary to Indians in India, here the better if Diwali falls on a weekend so that every one can enjoy the occasion.

Whatever be it, Howsoever environment friendly it might be by reducing the pollution and noise pollution, nothing like holding a Taal Futkaa, watching it Zhur Zhoor a bit and then blast it!!


NICK will be back soon.


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