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.