Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Diwali Nostalgia....

Well, looks like this year’s Diwali’s going to be spent with an extended family. The reason why I say so? Umm…okay, let me spill the beans here; and it’s not as dramatic as you might be contemplating. I guess it makes perfect sense when I say that the exercise that I’m currently undertaking is perhaps going to revolutionize the practice of burning fire-crackers during Diwali; uh oh…did I just mention Diwali? That did tickle the nostalgic bewitchery.
If I rewind my ‘timeline’, I could perhaps visualize the jubilant reunion of sorts…with the family members from across the country and abroad would come together and mingle in the essence of amity and concord. The bongs would call it Kali Puja that is again an importunate extension of the acclaimed doctrine “বারো মাসে তেরো পার্বণ” (the collective celebration of 13 festivities in 12 months) and that in effect, rejuvenates those dripping souls after the Durga Pujo hangover. The quintessence of exuberant fun gained momentum with ভাইফোঁটা (Bhai Phonta or Dooj) taking over the proceedings as a logical follow up….but then, all good things have to end. I think the best part of this dual celebration was the jubilant prefatory drill; till 1998 it was a grand praxis to celebrate Kali Pujo at our ancestral place in Ranaghat. That was indeed the best part of the year for me at least; yes Durga Pujo always had the stranglehold of upbeat impact but the traditional conjuration attached to “Diwali” was so very appealing. And how can I forget those glorious expeditions to Champahati, South 24 Paraganas to procure the best ever firecrackers in Bengal, in bulk as well as at reasonable price.
“I hope that these crackers have been ‘tuned’ well…I want to see the height of this flower-pot output”- My crackerjack proclaimed, he was one of a kind. Sampling those ground-charkas, rockets and flower-pots would be his venerated expertise, we did develop quite an eye for fire-crackers through his intervention. He did manage to learn those intricate details as an aftermath of a hilarious incident that took place in the year 1994 when a fallacious ‘abated’ bottle rocket ransacked gravely into a local retail store…could have been a ghastly accident in there. It does crop up thunderous cachinnations these days but the fact that dad luckily survived a fortuitous ‘chocolate bomb outburst’, doesn’t really go eclipsed. Damn, my neighbor used to store those ‘interdicted’ chocolate bombs in the refrigerator after the stricter anti-sound pollution norms were imposed by the Calcutta Police…there was literally no stopping us. But honestly speaking, I had a special liking toward “Aloo Bomb”, the one that needed no invitations (fire) to ‘impress it’s impact’ and the victims were those poor street dogs….sigh those guilty pleasures of childhood. But I think, the biggest surprise…the biggest ‘phenomenon’ of Diwali so far, has certainly been dada’s unexpected return from the States, that too with his family…back in 1999. It was his first visit to India in 10 years post-graduation, he was indeed such a changed man…his stories from across the seven seas were something to enshrine. Those were the best days of my life.
Okay then, taking the cue from my first paragraph….I’m back to Champahati now, this time as a consultant working towards the skill up-gradation & process improvement of the entrepreneurs out there, the vision being touching the excellence that Sivakashi, Tamil Nadu has managed to reach in the last few decades or so. Yes.... it’s a challenging exercise but then, if we manage to achieve even 30-40 percent of our projection, I guess Champahati could turn out to be one of the most vibrant clusters in the country…and the outcome being fabrication of some excellent quality of fire-crackers and overall development of the people associated with this industry. Yes, I have an extended family now, I'll celebrating Diwali with them this year. It sure, sounds exciting...I bet you should visit Champahati at this point of the year...the exhibition of fire-crackers is just incredible. No worries people, I will keep you guys updated with the progress of this assignment through my subsequent blog-posts. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali, stay safe, stay awesome. Enjoy....!
The Essence of Kali Pujo and Diwali: The Diwali Lights
The Revolving dissipation of free spirited energy and grace!
The Essence of Kali Pujo and Diwali: The Gracious Light Painting...
Well, who would have known, that the experimentation with ISO would explore patterns
The Essence of Kali Pujo and Diwali: The Idol at our ancestral place...
The essence of radiating positive energy is such a lifter....
The Essence of Kali Pujo and Diwali: The Upliftment..
That's how the darkness-marred, poverty tinged lanes of Kolkata have responded....

* This post has been written as part of the #GharWali Diwali campaign by Pepsico. You can watch their lovely new film on #GharwaliDiwali here.
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