Previous Chapter: http://scribbledbygb.blogspot.com/2011/07/5why-i-learnt-to-make-spelling-mistakes.html
This is all about how I spent my Diwali (an Indian festival) when I was in 5th standard. Few celebrate Diwali with crackers, few with sweets, few with lamps lit all over the house but I celebrated it with a bucket. All I did was refilled water in the bucket everytime it got emptied and emptied it everytime It got full. Stop all your cheap imagination, whatever you have guessed, im sure, is wrong. Lets see how my Diwali with Wali go on.
Just like every other Diwali, my mom woke me up at 5 in the morning and applied a lot of oil to my hair. I was still feeling sleeping and was reluctant to take bath. But I had no other option and had to get ready by 5:30. Dad, Varsha (my sister) and I went down to burst some crackers. I always hated bursting crackers; a waste of money; the exact way to burn down your money to ashes. I don’t find any fun clinged to the nano-second long sound that the cracker make for which we will have to light the end of the threat and wait with ears closed. Once all the crackers we took down for the first session of ‘ASHing down my father’s money once a year’ got over we came back home. In south India it’s an unsaid rule that families eat Pongal on the day of Pongal (Festival of Tamil Nadu) and Idlies for breakfast on the day of Diwali, at least in my house it is.
When you are a kid you won’t be allowed to burst crackers alone and for a girl like me who was not a bit interested in the noise pollution it wasn’t a problem at all. The elders in the family won’t let us out without their supervision on the day of Diwali. In the afternoons they’ll all be busy with the new movies that are telecasted. They assume that the maximum we could do, safely, is to play with the role cape guns. My father used to buy me 2 boxes full of role capes and a gun every year. At that time I really did not know that it was to help him watch TV without my hinderance. I had a friend next door names Shilpa (Name has been changed for safety; not hers but mine ;) ) who was of my own age and from my school; a family friend kind. We started clicking the dummy gun with the role cape in the terrace. I was scared that the spark from it will spoil the ‘beauty’ (lol) of my hands. So I kept it at a distance and clicked it as slowly as possible. When I clicked it I looked the other side and closed my eyes. Now I wonder if we had any fun doing it. Why should I even click the gun when I am so scared?
After an hour of shooting and non-shooting we got bored of it. We heard people bursting ‘one followed by as many zeros as possible according to one’s financial condition. We wanted to finish of the whole packet of role cape (one box will have 200 capes) we had one and a half packet left. We looked around and there were bricks in the terrace. Again talking about south India, esspecially the Tamil people, we dry something called ‘Vadam’ a paste made from grounded rice in the terrace. We paste the mixture on plastic sheets in various crazy shapes and keep bricks on the four side of the sheet to prevent it from flying. So every terrace will have construction bricks.
|Same arrangement,but now, you can see |
there is no door.
We wanted to make a box like structure with the bricks but there were just 4, too few to make 4 tall walls of a box like structure. We decided to make a box-like structure with the help of the door corner. We closed the door and in that corner we placed the bricks 2 in each pile and made a box like structure. We dropped all the role capes inside the hole that was made by us. We burnt the cover of the rolecape boxes and put it inside. Initially it was fun to watch the capes popping but slowly it started to burn more. We got scared and didn’t know what to do. We ran around but couldn’t go down through that stairs as we had messed up the way and it was burning hot. Our terrace has 2 doors leading to two stairs; one that led to her house and the other to mine. I didn’t want to go and call my parents as I was sure dad would never send me out ever again if he figures out that something went wrong, that too to this extent. She didn’t want to tell her parents too.
Ten minutes passed and the whole door caught fire. It was burning in front of our eyes. We thought it was too late and we had to call someone. We took the other staircase and went to the house in 3rd floor (mine is in 2nd floor). We called Vidya aunty and told her what had happened. Also we called shilpa’s parents and told them about what happened. They all rushed to the terrace with a bucket. I had to run up and down with the bucket to refill it when it was emptied and empty it to put down the fire.
After half an hour of struggle we managed to put down the fire. But the door was half burnt. It remained the same way for years and it took my flat association years to think of a grill gate. I was too small when these doors were replaced by grills so couldn’t take a snap of the half burnt door, for which I regret even now. So that was the last time I used a roll-cape gun on a diwali day….