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

The Adventures of Toto as a comic strip

  'The Adventures of Toto' is an amusing story by Ruskin Bond. It is prescribed as a lesson in CBSE's English course for class 9. Maggie asked her students to do a project on some of the lessons and Femi George's work is what I would like to present here. Femi converted the story into a beautiful comic strip. Her work will speak for itself and let me present it below.  Femi George Student of Carmel Public School, Vazhakulam, Kerala Similar post: The Little Girl

ICICI and I

My association with the ICICI Bank goes back by about twenty years when I opened my account at their Saket branch in Delhi. The first thing that struck me about the bank was the suave and deferential ways of the staff which was a stark contrast to what I was used to in the other two banks which I was compelled to associate myself with. The Punjab National Bank which had my salary account was an utter disaster with its rude and listless staff. The State Bank of India which held my PPF account was the pinnacle of inefficiecy. ICICI came as a pleasant and welcome contrast. However, that bank too underwent an evolution in the wrong direction as time went. When the number of clients rose and the workload became heavy, the gentleness of the staff was the first casualty. Nevertheless, the bank remained far superior to the other two. When I shifted to Kerala I transferred my account to the branch in my hometown. Here the staff were exquisite. But I hardly had to visit the branch because I

The Little Girl

The Little Girl is a short story by Katherine Mansfield given in the class 9 English course of NCERT. Maggie gave an assignment to her students based on the story and one of her students, Athena Baby Sabu, presented a brilliant job. She converted the story into a delightful comic strip. Mansfield tells the story of Kezia who is the eponymous little girl. Kezia is scared of her father who wields a lot of control on the entire family. She is punished severely for an unwitting mistake which makes her even more scared of her father. Her grandmother is fond of her and is her emotional succour. The grandmother is away from home one day with Kezia's mother who is hospitalised. Kezia gets her usual nightmare and is terrified. There is no one at home to console her except her father from whom she does not expect any consolation. But the father rises to the occasion and lets the little girl sleep beside him that night. She rests her head on her father's chest and can feel his heart