Delhi whispers softly to my ears to write its secrets, untouched places, juicy stories, Gory details, bloody truths and about the funniest moments....Finally Delhi has cast the spell on me and here I go online after being completely smitten by its beauty or oddity! Places, faces and the spices...here I come.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Delhi Diwali: For them
(Texts and photos by Pupps Roy)
1am. Diwali night in Delhi. Diwali is over for all of us.
everyone has gone off to sleep. But the celebration still continues for the
have-nots of our society. Meet Sanju, he is the domestic help of a rich family
in the GK area. He wants to celebrate the festival of lights and fire. Even
though Diwali is over he is still ecstatic with his Diwali do and why not,
Diwali comes once a year. Irrespective of the social division between the poor
and riches the excitement is sky high for everyone. He is searching some
skyshots, crackers, anaars that have not burnt properly or thrown away
carelessly by some rich kids so that he can use them and bring on Diwali. He is
wading through the heaps of crackers waste, Cardboard and paper litter
scattered near every house with the help of a stick. Hope he finds some!
'I love diwali and I love fireworks. Just wait and see.' He
lights up like a skyshot. He spoke like a storm now is gone and busy with joy
and Diwali enthusiasm. His mom is watching his son from a distance with her
saree that she covered her nose and ears to protect from cold and pollution. It
gets quite chili at this of the year in Delhi. Some people are still burning
crackers even after the deadline declared by Delhi Police. How many abide by
law in Delhi? Only Jude Law works! Sanju comes back with handful of crackers
and other diwali fiework stuff. Its enough to keep him busy for 15 minutes.
There he goes lighting them. His mom cusses him and follows him around and asks
not to go very close to the fire crackers. Her name is Meena and she too works
in the same house as a cleaner.
"We are from Muzaffarbad and its so nice that they kept
us here" Meena says with a deep breath. They are poor but they are happy.
Or its just Diwali in the air and their happiness reflects in their face. Its
risky to light the crackers that have not burned properly. The wicks are almost
gone. But Sanju won’t listen. He is a superman in a joyful state and he can do
anything. "You know parents wont change, children wont listen".
Meena is right. We all pass through the same phase in life. Sanju feigns a superhero character from a TV commercial. He carries 10 kilos of Atta in one hand and
also lugs a big bag of vegetables in another. He walks from GK to Aiims and
back twice a week to save the bus fare. He runs and fetches tennis balls for
his employer's son during his entire tennis lesson.
Boom. Zooot Bang! Theere is Sanju's skyshot. It glows like a
flower in the darkest sky. His mother claps and Sanju jumps in joy. He goes on lighting
an Anaar. His ma warns him not to go too close to the crackers while lighting them. There it
is. He finishes his diwali crackers one by one, bit by bit. Mother shouts at
Sanju, "let’s go and sleep now. Lot of cleaning to be done tomorrow
morning”. Sanju stares back and gives the best smile in the world and
disappears with his mom behind the huge wooden gate.Happy Diwali!