2.11.05

Of blasts, crackers and ghosts

I love lazy weekends and I love the sight of the rich golden lights bursting in the night sky on Diwali. The chill in the air as I stand on the verandah craning my neck and trying to catch them going off in different portions of the horizon.

I don't love the green and blue coloured lights and I don't love it when rockets land on me. Thankfully this year they didn't because I sat at home with S and had a huge dinner of pizza, garlic bread with cheese and crispy honey chicken and mixed noodles. Wow that was a breathful. And calorific as hell.

But they did land on me once. I was in Calcutta in high school. It was Kali Pujo and I was standing innocently (I was just watching my bratty cousins light the chadkis and the tubris) between my two cousin sisters. When wham! a rocket hit my shoulder. I was stunned. Only when the burnt feeling set in, did I run inside. I have since always wondered at the uncanny precision of the rocket.

Also I don't love it at all when the crackers are lined from one end of the street to the other and they go off like the battering effect of the stengun. Yesterday night as I was trying to watch Shrek 2, the sounds of the damn things drove me up the wall. S gave up. She went to sleep as early as 9.30 while I gave up on Shrek and read a book. At present I am reading Vikram Seth's Two Lives. The man (pint sized though he may be) has magic in his fingers. I kept wiping my face as I read of his aunt Henny. The book seems even so better because I have just got over with One Night @ the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. First of all, when I met him for an interview I thought he was a pompous ass with no reason to be so. I think he is just a guy-who-got-lucky-with-an-average-book phenomenon.

The weekend started off with a Chanel show on Saturday night. I was feeling so frantic that day finishing off with my stories that I didn't even go and join the crowd around the TV in office when I heard the word 'blast'. It must be some minor thing in some city I thought to meself. And I rushed home. In the auto I got a call from my London aunt. She wanted to know whether I was alive. But still I didn't find the time to flip on the TV. I rushed for the show. Thereafter the amount of calls I received told me that it must have been serious. An RJ even messaged and asked how I was. I was taken aback. I replied: "In heaven where they are having a Chanel show and serving champagne."

Got to know about the real thing from E. She messaged me: Get your ass home RIGHT NOW. When she called, I told her I was sipping on champagne and feeling happy. What she said next did make me feel ashamed. "There are BOMBS going off lady. One in Paharganj, one in Sarojini Nagar, in Karol Bagh and in a DTC bus!" What one of the designers told one of the reporters the same evening disillusioned me. When asked whether he had heard about the blasts, his reply was "Life has to move on!" And I met the son of a minister there who said that he 'had' to be there with his father at the site of the blasts.

Inspite of the scare, the next day I was 'foolishly brave' (as others around me described it ). I dragged P along with me to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And should I say I didn't regret it cos the theatre was practically empty. The sight of a nearly empty PVR on a Sunday evening is quite a thing. In the darkness though P suddenly grabbed my hand and said, "Can you feel the floor vibrating?" Truly it was humming. I reassured her with the words, "I think we are destined to live a few more years". A few seconds later there were mild sounds of a siren straining in. And of course P asked me what it was. If these diversions were not enough, there was a little curly haired kid walking around. She kept tapping P on her arms and jabbering away to her.

But do watch the film. I fell for the oompaloompas and need I say Johnny Depp. I watched another film that had me going gaga about Rahul Bose. It was Mr and Mrs Iyer.

Over the weekend (I had stayed over at P's place), I heard a story that of course scared the wits out of me. We were almost drifting off to sleep when P narrated her story. "My aunt and uncle were newly weds at the time. They had come to Delhi and were visiting the Humayun's Tomb. It was not so well kept then. They had sauntered off to the part where Bu Halima's tomb is. They got this peculiar smell and followed it till they came to this enclosure where they saw a body shrouded in white and patches of blood on it. They were so scared that they ran for the guard. The latter went back with the police and came back to say that there was nothing of the sort there. Very disturbed my aunt and uncle returned to the place they were putting up at. But the smell persisted. They shifted to another corner of the city after that." I remembered all the occasions on which I had trampled to lonely monuments in the city and also thanking my stars that I had not met any shrouded bodies or disgruntled spirits.

29 comments:

Rat said...

Oh my god. Thats such a chilly story about the body.
Im really dying to read Two lives. waiting for someone to buy it so I can borrow it. :)

First Rain said...

Okay! Glad that you are safe, and that you had a sumptuous Diwali.

But I am deifnitely missing something... can't quite put my finger on what though.

thalassa_mikra said...

I'm so glad you are safe. Scary story, but I have more pleasant memories of Humayun's Tomb. My then boyfriend and I were the only visitors, and we sat in one corner of the terrace and it started drizzling.

We looked across the garden, and on top of a little haveli, a peacock had started dancing! We just sat there, and were later joined by a constable and vendor for company, watching the peacock dance.

Penny Lane said...

Haha... you are a sucker for these ghost stories no ;) Happy Diwali... I also narrowly missed being hit by a stupid rocket one Diwali!

AB said...

Rat: Come to Delhi. Let Two Lives be the incentive ;-)

First Rain: Hmmm...Now what could that be?:)

Thalassa: A nice story you have given me to counteract the shroudy one. Thanks.

Penny: Totally. I think it's kind of a perversion to listen to scary stories and then keep playing them in my mind over and over again.

Narrowly missed is the key word here:)

First Rain said...

I've got it! Somebody went and watched a movie without me... Shucks! If only I could remember who it might have been?

AB said...

First Rain: Who was it? Bad bad person...Quick quick remember!

First Rain said...

Sadly I do not know her name :( Just my bad luck I guess! How do I get in touch with her? Any ideas?

*Winter rains already! The weather is most intoxicating right now.*

AB said...

Mail!

Yeah so want the weather to stay this way. It's just right.

First Rain said...

Hmmm... Mail seems good. Now tell me where do I get the mail address from? :D

n.g. said...

pretty eventful diwali eh? glad to know that delhi is resilient enough to get back on her feet.

am coming to delhi later this month, lets meet up.

AB said...

Nish: Whoa suddenly I am gonna meet bloggers. Cool. Let me know when you are here.

acidrocks said...

Hey I really like the way you write and your posts.They make an intresting reading. All the best for your search and i am sure you would find a right guy very soon. As for me I am pretty much a novice to bloggin and just learning the tricks of the trade.

Parna said...

good to know you are safe. loved charlie and the chocolate factory.

Mint Chutney said...

I have a ghost story but it's kinda long. Good that you're back. Can you please tell that roommate of yours that her blog is collecting dust and she should post something.

Were you ever able to figure out what your Flickr ID is?

AB said...

Acidrocks: Thanks. It's fun. I mean blogging though lately I have been feeling not much upto it.

Parna: Safe and bored with life at present.

Mint: In fact I was talking about it with her yesterday night. I have told her. Let's see if I am a successful nag:-)

I don't know whether you are going to believe me but I keep doing it. I think I have forgotten both my id and the password. You think I can try opening one again?

Mint Chutney said...

Yes, just create a new one.

PS said...

That's why I mssgd you coz I could picture you, strolling languidly in S N...thank God you weren't :)

Docs Dope said...

well I have had a hooker once and while she cam Shrek 2 was playing, She said She didnt like that movie..this happenned another time from which I could generalise, only hookers dont like movies like Shrek 2

AB said...

Mint: Will definitely do that and this time write down everything in my notebook.

PS: I was working babes. I work too you know (frowns)

DocsDope: Ok so you were making a hooker watch Shrek 2????

Docs Dope said...

The essence of the comment was to get a factual observation of simpler things happenning around us and arrive at a generalisation. Now I had proposed a hypothesis which could be proven eitherways :)

Watching Shrek 2 is always a pleasure more so if you are familiar with the Rodeo Drive and Hollywood culture in LA :)

shyam said...

Blame it on motheater for being the human birthday alarm, but happy burday to you :)

Shivangi said...

Girl, seems like I've known you for ages! hehe... Love the way you write your posts. Might sound a trifle bit odd, but you seem like a perfect room mate! Koi ghar khali hai aas pass???

AB said...

Docs Dope: Hypothesis. Factual observation. Hmmm... I think I get it:-)

Familiar with neither one. I mean Rodeo Drive and Hollywood culture in LA

Codey: Hey thanks. B'days are not happy any longer now that I am ageing:-(

Shivangi: Whoa...Thanks:-)

Read your post on flathunting. You must try my broker who operates in Jangpura extn. He's mighty good. Let me know if you need his number.

shyam said...

ab: umm.. we all are going downhill, so don't give it much thought and just munch away at the cake :)

Mint Chutney said...

Belated Happy Birthday AB!

Docs Dope said...

Surly, I'd believe you do get it :) by the way, I have linked you on my post too, take care and from jsut noticing the other comments, Belated wishes for your Birthday

AB said...

Mint: Thanks:-)

Docs Dope: Thanks to u too.

Antonio Hicks said...

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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