My Tenali and Diwali


Diwali announces its arrival with booms and bangs in almost every street corner at least one week before the actual day of the festival and the crackers continue to rock for several days after that. While most kids love to scan the crackers list and push their parents/grand-parents to extend the crackers budget, our man Vyas, is a kid in utter distress! You just have to mention ‘C’ in crackers and he is sure to close the door on you!

His hands are permanently glued to his ears and he is mostly found with his legs curled up on the couch. He calls a total bandh during Diwali and refuses to step out of the house to visit the temple, kolla patti, his cousins, or friends on this day. Crackers are my boy’s worst nightmare. Any amount of encouragement, reasoning, bullying has not helped in allaying his fears. ‘People must be mad to burst crackers!’ he declares!

As if to prove him right, last Diwali, my uncle made him stand at the door and lighted a bhoomi-chakram (ground- chakkar if you may call it), and to our dismay, it exploded! “See, I told you crackers are not safe. You people are out of your minds”, he yelled! He does not conceal his fear, but he will also attribute it to factors like pollution, child labor, and fire accidents!

I’ve recounted several of my tyrsts with crackers as a kid to substantiate that if we exercise caution, it is fun to light the crackers in the company of family and friends, but nay, he’d have none of it! Aashi, his 6.5 yr old younger sis, is bindaas and is totally cool about crackers:)

Vyas thinks my pranks of thrusting a rocket to snugly fit the mouth of a Waterbury’s Compound tonic bottle and then light it, is the most ‘stupidest’ act ever and wonders how my mom never figured out the bottles in my possession!

Its years since I’ve burst crackers myself and I’m absolutely fine and agree with him on not touching the stuff. But the fear is something I’d like him to overcome. Am sure he’ll come around, but the agony he goes through is something I can’t bear to see! His eyes are moist for the best part of the day:(

This Diwali, two of his friends from our apartments have taken it upon themselves to put Vyas’s fears to rest! Varun was barely 6 months old last Diwali and was ‘well protected’. This time, thanks to his anna, he has been saying , “pattachu dammaaal, dimmeel, bayam” everytime he hears an atom bomb explode two streets away!! Let me see how it goes with my boys this time!!

Will post updates the coming weekend!!!

Till then,in keeping with the ‘Enthiran- The Robot’ season:

Happy Diwali