Thursday, November 04, 2004

Festival Time: Deepavaliii yahoooo!!!!

Today! I am leaving on a 11-day vacation to Madras ( Diwaliiiii rocks!!!!). This is the only motivation for me to live through this week. The festive smell in the air ( not in bangalore.. which pretty much sux in this regard) is inviting me(" yit beyckons") from Madras. The festive atmosphere in Madras during deepavali cannot be compared with any other place. Grading on a scale of 1 to 100, Madras would get some 98. Bangalore would get 3 ( I received a circular in my apartment saying that they have allocated 3 hours on the day of deepavali to light crackers on the terrace). Even other places in Tamil Nadu wouldn't measure up to this grand a scale. For example in Trichy or Nellai you wouldn't know the difference between Full moon day and Deepavali.

Already, last weekend, there were 1 million billion zillion people in that Usman Road-Doraisami Bridge junction.

I seriously believe our country is a not poor country. In front of GR.Thanga Maligai there were 2000 people. It is a jewellery shop. and for a jewelerry shop it resembles the size of a 3 star hotel and invites a stadium kind of crowd. People were rushing into it as if they were buying idlies or bread toast ( although there may not be so much crowd in front of a bakery ir murugan idli shop). 2 Police vans were standing outside begging people to stand in line etc.

Sunday morning 9:00 clk, all roads in and around Panagal Park were blocked. Thankfully nowadays the traffic police reacts quickly to such situations. By sunday evening 70% of roads were made one-ways and people were "take diversion" 'ed multiple times until they began to go around in circles.

But the festive spirit has to be seen to be believed. Its like the atmosphere in a stadium when Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat. The excitement, the crowd the buzz. Especially T.Nagar. Wow! This is the place to be. I would give anything to spend a day sitting on the Traffic Policeman's booth and observe the maddening crowd keep buying saree after saree. ( I would also get to watch the neat tricks these policemen use to earn a few xtra bucks).

I havent bought crackers yet. My First batch of orders has gone to Sivakasi through my dad. This weekend I hope to loot a traditional cracker shop in G.N Chetty road. You won't believe it, its a marriage hall converted to a cracker shop. They have push carts inside. I look forward to some serious cracker shopping this time. Sun News have said that they have come out with some really new fancy crackers. ( yipeeeee)

Jayalalitha our beloved Chief Minister has strictly said crackers can be burst only between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM. She has got to be kidding. She's been saying that since 1991 and I always let out a smile ( sometimes a yelp) when I start hearing cracker sounds at 2:30 AM in the morning. By 4:30 AM things are in full swing. Okay I am getting ahead of myself. But can't help it.. the excitement is getting to me. But heck! I am carrying work to Madras that promises to keep me occupied 2000 hours a day. Life isn't fair at all :-(

Will blog post-diwali!


Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree on your comments about the festive mood of other cities in TN. I always thought that nothing could beat Madurai. Starting with navarathri in the great Meenakshi temple, the whole city kind of goes into a frezied state until the end of deepavali. Add to that the 10-15 days of vacation most high school kids used to have around that time (there was no quarterly exam vacation for us) and you have a recipe for a pure hell for parents. We used to start crackers about 3 days before deepavali. Those were the days, as Archie Bunker would say ;-( My cousins in Madras were so quiet and subdued in comparison.


Hawkeye said...

Actually in my ksethradams around tamil nadu, i missed staying in madurai during diwali. when my parents were in madurai, I was in my grandma's place in madras.

Thirunelveli, although a very good place otherwise, sucked in this regard. When we were in nellai we came 2-3 days before diwali to madurai to purchase in rmkv. Madurai is the "pattinam" for nellai folks.

Usually as you go down south its "pongal" that becomes more popular! Diwali is considered a "extra festival". Trichy, Thanjavur, Coimbatore also does not celeberate diwali that much. I am not sure the near-24 hour bursting is prevalant everywhere else. Even in places like Gujarat where diwali is celeberated with vigor, its only in the evening.

Its 5 days to diwali, i didnt see a single cracker shop in Bangalore. I am in madras now and at 5:20AM I saw a couple of shops that was open.

Ekta said...

Hey Bharat,
reading your blog has got me into the Diwali fever too!
I want to go and do my diwali shopping now!!!:-)
Diwali always meant loda of sweets, and pampering from parents.....and of course and excuse for new clothes...!!