Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Soul-Stirring Diwali Celebration …

This is a translation of “தீபாவளிக்கு ஒரு மத்தாப்பு” writeup by Susi. Krishnamoorthy from Guindy, Chennai in Mangayarmalar (October 2010) edition. On popular request from a few friends in FaceBook communities would like to publish this translation.

Not sure whether this can convey the real essence of the tamil writeup but just an humble endeavor.  To translate the content written by a girl needs to be in a girl’s cap. Command Mode Activated: 'Deepak as Lavanya’.

Over to the verbatim translation.


Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is always a crowning  colorful festival of India. You may observe that train reservations for Diwali get filled even a lot of months back. Omnibuses go at a sky-rocketing price during Diwali. It is a pan-India (and a pan-Universal Indian) colorful celebration. Though there are so much pluses with Diwali and there were so many Diwali’s in my lifetime the specific Diwali of interest was in 1974. The reason being it was my Thalai Deepavali. I was with my husband in Chennai and my parents were settled in Mumbai. My husband didn’t have much holidays and hence I started off to my parent’s place a week before and my husband agreed to reach Mumbai on the Diwali’s eve.

My husband had the itinerary of reaching Mumbai on the morning of Diwali eve. But since he wasn’t turning up till late evening panic started to grip us. Those days communication-en-route was not that easy and flexible as these days  because there were no mobile phones. Fuelling the confusions and anxieties, my neighbor’s son ran into our house gasping for breath and conveyed a message all south-bound trains have been blocked by ShivSena party cadre in a political strike. A few of the passengers were also held hostages it seems. I literally broke down into tears.

As time ticked well past 1 AM in the night my door was experiencing gentle knocks. It was a pleasant pat for me since it was my husband at my doorsteps. Though he looked tiresome and literally broke, the pleasant smile of the hearts rejuvenated our spirits. When asked what happened he was quickly narrating the incidents. “Since I had to start late from Chennai after my work and due to paucity of time, I was unable to purchase any sari for you, dear. A co-passenger told me that the train has a 30 minute halt in Pune. His little son gave me a box of sparklers and told it as a Diwali gift to aunty. But by the time I could search through the saris in Pune, the train left. I had to manage reaching Mumbai by alternating with bus and taxi. Though I just bought you a very plain vanilla simple sari when it included the cost of transportation it looks akin to an exorbitant silk sari cost. Smile“. We then consoled him that only because he alighted at Pune he was able to reach in time because the route between Pune and Mumbai was stranded and suffering because of political riots. 

During the early morning of Diwali when my parents had arranged for stone-studded silk sari, I just preferred to sport with the ordinary sari which my dear husband bought amidst the great turbulent difficulty since that looked more dear to me. And the first fireworks that we lit was the one the ‘unknown-kid’ in the train had gifted”.


--Susee Krishnamoorthy,
Chennai – 600 032.


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