So it’s almost time for Diwali. I know this because the photo-tagging frenzy on Facebook has begun, with me being in tagged in a million pictures of things that symbolise Diwali, such as diyas, crackers, light-bulbs, burn victims, the superiority of the Aryan race and so on.
As you can tell, I’m totally looking forward to this festival of lights, prosperity and violently choking to death on suspended particulate matter the size of cockroaches. Every time I breathe during Diwali, it feels like my lungs are being french-kissed by a dementor. This, of course, is a throwback to ancient times when Lord Ram returned victorious from Lanka and was welcomed with a traditional feast of anti-histamines.
And smog is a really bad idea if you want the goddess of wealth to visit your home. It must really mess with navigation. I can just imagine her circling over Mumbai for hours, before giving up and dumping all the cash at Antilla, because that giant space vibrator is the only visible thing around.
But that’s just grumpy ol’ me. Everybody else seems to be happy, and by everybody else, I mean the people in the 94762 “festive season” ads that come attached to your daily newspaper. You know the ones I mean – idiots gathered around toasters and juicers, sporting grins that scream straitjackets and padded walls. Seriously, nobody should look that happy about a toaster, not unless it can cure cancer and has the ability to spontaneously generate threesomes.
It’s not all bad though. Diwali is that once-a-year chance to catch up with neighbours and relatives, so that you can remind yourself why you only meet these people once a year. Some of these people will invariably be the ones setting off firecrackers at 6 in the morning. There’s an important cultural reason which allows them to do this, i.e. murder is illegal. If you can’t think of any such person in your building, then it’s probably you, in which case I implore you, on behalf of all mankind, to firmly sit on the business end of an exploding rocket.
Speaking of homicidal urges and vapid consumerism, there’s Bollywood, with its annual Diwali Box Office Showdown, which, in this case, is ‘Son of Sardaar’ vs. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. JTHJ is the story of SRK falling in love with Katrina and Anushka, because all the other ladies he used to romance are, in Bollywood terms, deceased. Meanwhile, Son of Sardaar stars Ajay Devgn, a man best known for brushing his teeth with dirt. If you’re wondering which one to watch, flip a coin and before it lands, go jump in traffic.
In other Diwali news, eminent lawyer and BJP MP Ram Jethmalani recently said that Lord Ram was a bad husband because he didn’t trust his wife – a statement that outraged nobody with more than two functional brain cells. However, it did cause a flutter amongst the BJP, and understandably so, because you can’t just say something like that when you belong to the BJP. That’s like being a part of the Corleone family and announcing that the Don loved to wear pink ballerina tights. It may be true, but nobody wants it said out loud.
And I don’t know about you, but if some random man were to cast aspersions on the character of my wife, I think it’d be perfectly reasonable to ask her to walk through fire. Yup. Totally. In fact, that agnipariksha was the world’s first recorded instance of Truth or Dare.
Having said all that, it is important that we hold on to Diwali traditions and celebrations, because somebody needs to keep buying Chinese stuff. I wish you all a very happy Diwali, and no matter what caste, creed or community you belong to, I want you to know that if you tag me in a stupid FB picture, I will eat your children. Cheers!
(Note: This is my HT column dated 11th Nov, 2012)