DemosNews: Back in the Saddle and recollections of Divali in Dilli
Back in the Saddle and recollections of Divali in Dilli

I sleep in pain under a jacket on the cold floor. BUT, it is the polished marble floor of a spacious three bedroom, three, three balcony apartment with a lot of potential in a great part of a fascinating town.

My Life in the past two weeks has had MAJOR highs and MAJOR lows. The trip to Kerala was outstanding and I will get to that soon. But first let me tell you about the last week.

The last week has been maybe the hardest in my entire life. I won’t go into details too much on this other to say that fever, hunger, seething frustration, throbbing leg pain, exhaustion, immobility and disorientation have coupled with my first week on a new job to be … a real doozey.

But, after getting some good rest, getting more of a grip on my new professional life and seeing a helpful doctor (as opposed to the malicious wretch in doctor costume that I saw on Tuesday), life is really shaping up. Tonight beer and Bollywood’s finest went a long way. In addition, I finally have internet access (although not on my personal computer/in my apt yet).

So, the blog is back! And pics and movies of Kerala are coming as soon as Krishna from AirTel finally shows up at a REASONABLE hour, WITH the “engineers” to get me online at home. Honestly, I don’t know when that will be. I first met Krishna a week ago and have seen his sweet smile almost everyday this week. Still no engineers have done their part.

In the meantime, I need to get off the bitter tip. Let me paint a fun, if alarming, picture for you all out there is Safetytown, USA. Divali in Dilli: Off The Frikkin’ Wall.

Nat and I planned our return to Delhi in time to experience “The Hindu Christmas.” Stepping off the plane, that familiar thick air welcomed me back home. But as we drove into the city, it was clear that this was not the normal smoke/mist/pollution cocktail that normally hangs over Delhi. The city was still shrouded in smoke from the previous night’s activities. At sunset the fireworks began again and didn’t stop till sunrise. I am not talking about sparklers like 4th of July in your front yard. I am talking about the kind that only the firemen are allowed to set off. I am talking about lots and lots and lots of the kind that only the firemen are allowed to set off in the hands of 9 year olds running loose in the streets, in traffic – no, aiming at traffic. The city sounded like the finale of Scarface and felt like CNN live from Baghdad. Plus lots of honking. Also, livestock gets involved.

Driving down the street in my new neighborhood (for the first time at night) the whole place was lit up. Xmas lights, lanterns, candles everywhere. People in the streets and strings, piles and scattered petals of marigolds everywhere. It was magical feeling and very pretty.

We ended up spending the evening at an orphanage where a new friend, Danielle, works. An excess of fireworks donations had turned this Divali party into one hell of a scene. We had a hard time finding the place, but when we turned a corner and saw 35 little kids jumping up and down in the middle of the street, dancing around over spinning disks of flames at their feet and waving jumbo sparklers in theirs hands, we knew we had arrived.

About 5 minutes after arriving, I had relaxed a bit. This scene, all these kids, all these explosives, seemed dangerous but everyone was having a blast and I began to let myself go with the flow, playing along with the kids and having fun. Then someone lit a “50,000 banger.” A 50,000 banger is a string of 50,000 loud-ass banging gunpowder balls. They don’t make any pretty fire. They just make a hell of a lot of noise for about 2 minutes. Anyway, someone set one of these off in the street. I had no idea what was going on and immediately took cover. I was completely convinced we were in the middle of a jihadist attack on our little party. For two minutes I ducked behind shelter, covering my ears and face. Looking up I realized that the kids were only encouraged by whatever was going. Insanity. Once the firefight was over, I stood up and couldn’t find Nat. Then he peaked up from behind a nearby car, white in the face and looking at me like “what the hell just happened? That was a close one.” I thought to myself, he can’t cut it, wimp. Then I turned around and remembered that I too had taken shelter like a scared child. Only my shelter wasn’t a car, it was a row of women and toddlers.

Today the plumber and maid are here are going to town on all sorts jobs in the apartment which is making me very happy. Stuff seems to be getting done.

My relationship with the maid is perfect so far. She speaks not a word of English. I had prepared an entire list of things that I wanted to ask her/show her to do. But we never got to that. Basically she arrived this morning and smiled at me. I tried to communicate, but she wasn’t interested in the slightest. She took one look at the place, shot me a look like “you disgust me.” Then she pushed by me and started aggressively cleaning everything in sight. I have tried to talk to her twice. She completely ignores me. I think her name is Maya. The place is going to be spotless.

I’ll be back soon.

© 2021 NCW of DemosNews

December 12, 2007 at 6:28am
DemosRating: 4.5
Hits: 1175

Genre: Away (Tales)
Type: Creative
Tags: divali, travel, delhi, india

Related Material:

Gupta’s Prayer Room (1415 hits)

The FRRO and the RamaKrishna Puram Small Market (1459 hits)

A Lot of Traffic on Poster Street (1049 hits)

The Poster Men (1276 hits)

Share Back in the Saddle and recollections of Divali in Dilli:
Add to Digg this piece Stumble It!