Last night, we were on our terrace watching the sky lit up. The peace of watching the sky bloom like a shy bride, with the person you love, is incomparable. We had finished all our crackers. Tubri or Anaar has always been my favourite… Not the conical ones but the ones in earthen balls because they spill stars. We got plenty of them. We lit the sparkling fire-fountains one by one… and marvelled at them. It was perhaps the fourth or the fifth one, when I saw the smoke that silently goes up, unnoticed while everyone is busy watching the fireworks. The dark smoke creeps up like a rebel guest trying to escape an embarrassing party.
Later, when other people of the apartment were busy lighting up their crackers with family, kids, friends… we stole a quieter corner of the terrace for ourselves and saw the beauty of the Delhi sky on Diwali. A Faanush (sky lanterns) floating, bloated with promises and wishes, colourful fireballs doing all sort of acrobatics… we tried to imagine the talent of firecracker makers who manage to crumple and stuff their beautiful vision in a roll of cardboard with just layers of something so, so grey and dark.
And as the crackers lit up the sky and burst so close to us that it lit our faces and smiles, we could see our sadness and worries, creep out of us like jailbirds.
We woke up to the news how polluted Delhi air had become. We had felt the heaviness of the trapped ambitions, insecurities, worries, jealousy, adulthood in the air last night. Who could imagine that humans could derive pleasure from such a thing? Who invented firecrackers? Chinese? Who also invented kites? But who was it exactly? One man or woman? Who knew how to satiate the animal in each one of us and yet with such incredible beauty?
I just wish such beautiful things did not come with a price so heavy.