The day started for the little Vs at 4.30 AM and Varun must have been a confused boy for the best part of the day not understanding why the streets rocked damaal-dimeel thus!
The new clothes were laid out on trays and kolams were done the previous night. The 4 Vs, the BIL and his better half assembled in a row as is the custom here. The paatti smeared our feet with turmeric paste and topped it with the usual ‘nalangu’ pattern using kumkum, followed by oiling our hair with a sound pat on the head:) The thatha systematically rolled a beetle leaf with the nut which each of us had to chew. Varun was bathed first and Vyas followed and then the mommy.
This Diwali was specially special because Vyas, though stuck inside the house for the best part of the day, actually came out to the terrace to see the beautiful aerial works and let us light some flower-pots and sparklers! Its a big milestone reached for the 2 of us personally!! And he said he loved them though from a distance!! And he surprised us the next evening by expressing his desire to hold a color-sparkler himself and he lit a few!! The entire credit goes to his 13 yr old friend Varsha who lives in the apartment below ours!! She literally reserved some aerials and sparklers to showcase it to the 2 Vs. Vyas didn’t take quite well to the aerials because it actually explodes and so he retreated and joined once the exploding stuff were done with!
In a little while, he called it time and counseled Varsha saying she had contributed enough to the pollution and that it was time to get indoors!!
Any jokes or comments aimed at his fear of crackers was well received by him. He acknowledged the fact and shrugged off saying, “Yes, am scared and I don’t like it. I am like that! You go ahead and do if you are not scared”. And he is right.
I wonder what was going through Varun’s mind. He kept saying- pattaachu dammaal, but also topped it up with a loud -Yaay- cheer and claps every time a 100-wala or 1000-wala went up somewhere. He was too willing to come out and watch the fireworks. On an impulse, I carried the little fellow and together we set off a Lakshmi-vedi and a flower pot and he appeared thrilled! He lit quite a few sparklers and wanted more!
He was an enthusiastic participant in the Lakshmi pooja we perform early in the evening this day, hurling the akshadai and flowers in random directions and occasionally on Lakshmi or at her feet:)
The exposure to crackers smoke did its share and the little fellow has been coughing away the last few days and nights:( The anna does not let an opportunity pass and was quick to point out the ills the crackers bring and says that is exactly why he loathes them!
Kuppura vizhildhalum, meesaile mannu ottale!!