Skip to main content

The Day After


The burnt-out parts of crackers and fireworks
Lay scattered in the yard and road and wherever the eye could reach.
The festival is over.
The intoxication lingered a while.
And that died out too.
Naturally.
Leaving an aftertaste somewhere in the hollows within,
Sweet and bitter, bitterness competing with sweetness.

The sound and fury of the fireworks on the ground and in the heaven
Repeated the same old tales, wise or idiotic – who knows?  Who cares?
Dazzling lights strutted and fretted
Their hour upon the stage
Leaving distorted and gaping fragments behind.

The fragments will be swept into the dustbins of Swachh Bharat
Maybe the next time the Great Actor drives us to the broom store
Or maybe they will be carried away by the winds of time
That blow relentlessly
And mercilessly
Erasing the markings we make on dust.


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Comments

  1. Diwali is all about lights not about noise and pollution. But celebration doesn't have any ends Tomichan. Nicely written! Enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As time goes by, celebrations will evolve too, Gowthama. I think there has been some improvement this year compared to previous years. Is it because of the tragedy in Faridabad (cracker shops being gutted) or is it because people are becoming more conscious, I don't know.

      Delete
  2. Its always mixed feelings sir after diwali. This was the first time that as a family we didn't burn crackers and enjoyed the other parts of the festival. As a kid burning the crackers was the most important and I feel a lot of my friends are now doing it only to showoff. So completely related to each word and am still having mixed feelings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The show off plays a big role, Athena. In my city, Delhi, that is what matters more than anything else, I think.

      Delete
    2. In tamil there is a saying which goes something like charring money i cant find a better way to explain the too much cracker syndrome than literally burning hard earned money.

      Delete
    3. In Malayalam, the idiom 'Diwali kulikuka' means waste one's entire wealth. I guess it must have come from the way people burnt up money on fireworks. I'm not sure, of course...

      Whatever that be, it's time to reign in certain wasteful practices that are ominous for the planet.

      Delete
  3. Very meaningful lines.
    I feel the bitter aftertaste, this time more than ever before. Partly because I haven't been in the country for the past few Diwalis and partly because I hated having to expose my under-one-year old to all that smoke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apart from the pollution, the "sound and fury" of life itself prompted me to write this, to be frank. The whole second stanza is inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more. It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
      Signifying nothing."

      Delete
  4. Very meaningful poem! I have burned the noisy crackers in my life. And in about 15 years I haven't burned the mild ones either. And After seeing the Diwali mess in Bangalore while I was there, I am not interested at all in "celebrating" Diwali with crackers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will take time for deep-rooted traditions to change. What I'm more interested in is a change in attitude towards religion in general.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Advani and Modi

Cartoon from Deepika This morning's Malayalam newspaper, Deepika, delighted readers with the above cartoon on the front page. Modi is portrayed as Bhima in quest of the Sougandhika flower.  He encounters Hanuman on the way and is unable to meet the challenge posed by Hanuman.  Finally Bhima will understand the real power of his interceptor and seek his blessings. Fabulous cartoon, I mused.  It depicts the present situation tersely.  And there's a deep irony too in it. Neither Modi nor Advani is worthy of any comparison with the epic characters.  Both have acted from selfish motives thus far and continue to do so. But the nature of the Kurukshetra has changed too today.  Today our heroes are no better than these characters.   

The Ugly Duckling

Source: Acting Company A. A. Milne’s one-act play, The Ugly Duckling , acquired a classical status because of the hearty humour used to present a profound theme. The King and the Queen are worried because their daughter Camilla is too ugly to get a suitor. In spite of all the devious strategies employed by the King and his Chancellor, the princess remained unmarried. Camilla was blessed with a unique beauty by her two godmothers but no one could see any beauty in her physical appearance. She has an exquisitely beautiful character. What use is character? The King asks. The play is an answer to that question. Character plays the most crucial role in our moral science books and traditional rhetoric, religious scriptures and homilies. When it comes to practical life, we look for other things such as wealth, social rank, physical looks, and so on. As the King says in this play, “If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beauti

Reading Comprehension for Senior Students

 Let me present the reading comprehension test I gave to my 12th graders recently.  1.        Read the passage and answer the questions that follow .                      1x10 = 10 1.     On 1 Oct, India launched 5G services. It was a low-key affair even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launching it. Natural, perhaps, since it came after 70-odd countries had deployed it in close to 2000 cities since 2019 when South Korea kicked off the new era of connectivity. 2.     Attempts to get 5G going in India have been botched by muddled policies. The biggest bottleneck was the high reserve prices for airwave sales. The 700-megahertz band, which is needed for 5G technology, was priced so high that it did not receive any bids in the March auction and even in the recent auction, only one company, market leader Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, has been able to cough up the asking price despite a scaling down of rates by the government. Telecom companies are bleeding after the cutthroat tar

To a friend

Vincent van Gogh - self-portrait of a man who suffered much This post is dedicated to a person who was very dear to me for quite some time. We were good friends. But certain situations affected that friendship adversely. Years later, he contacted me recently. There is a lot of frustration, anger, sadness and rebellion in his psyche, as I sense it. Dear Friend, Your present situation grieves me as much as it worries me. I knew you as a benevolent individual who went out of his way to help friends. I received much help from you for many years. You were an inspiration for me in more ways than you might have ever imagined. What happened to our friendship was inevitable to some extent because I was passing through a painful phase of personality deterioration and your efforts to assist turned out to be counterproductive. It was not your fault at all. You meant well, I know. I knew it at that time too but my psychological condition made it impossible for me to continue our friendship. I n