Month: December 2010

Diwali

[from November 5]

Today is the Hindu festival of lights – Diwali. For the past week the city has sounded like a battlefield – erupting firecrackers like machine guns, exploding fireworks like bomb blasts, starting from the early morning until past the midnight hours.

 

The city covered in lights, crowded as usual.

Went to buy some Indian sweets for the occasion at night.

This man stood across the store with his daughter and their celebratory balloon.

At the house, friends visited with firecrackers which were soon ignited outside.

I juggled between cooking spaghetti and garlic bread in the kitchen and running outside to partake in the revelry.

I stayed on the roof at night to watch the fireworks.

music: bjork – frosti

Transition

[from late October]

The cherry blossoms bloom in late October here, the delicate pink flowers marking the shift in weather from the warmer monsoon season to the chilly winter months that usher in the new year. The sight reminds me of my Canadian springs, of sakura blossoms lining university campus lanes. When the snow of the winter becomes a thing of the past, and the new green shoots and bursts of floral colours disrupt the barrenness that preceded it. Except here, it’s getting colder, and darker, the days increasingly shorter. The pink blossoms that echo spring in my mind are accompanied by full trees of deep red poinsettia, those hallmarks of Christmas and winter.

The electrical heater has burned a part of the wall socket, yet the chemical scent doesn’t seem to bother me, but evokes favourable memories of clean wood-burned smoke in an open space, set against rustling leaves of yellow ochre and scarlet red, like a Bob Ross painting. The unwelcome cold was always tempered by the warm festivities of the season. The created traditions and rituals, the customary preparations of foods savoury and sweet. And so sitting on the edge of my mattress, huddled near the warm, orange glow of the heater, in what will be my first Indian winter, I feel… I feel many things that connect, that progress, that look back, that culminate in something I can’t quite pin down yet.

music: edwin mccain and jewel – what matters (live)