Vantage point

Monday, November 04, 2002

The first cracker every year does bring out the most noticeable reactions. I don't mean the first cracker that you burst, but the first one that is burst in front of you every diwali. This year, being in IIM, there were no 'warm up' fireworks during the preceding week like there used to be at home, so the first cracker burst in front of me was as late as the night of Laxmipoojan. Here is how the whole thing unfolds.

Someone places the 'bomb' on the ground and lights it. The string lights up, fizzes a little, and instinctively, the muscles in the jaw area tend to clench, to shield the eardrums. Then as the spark seems to reach the end, the hand slowly moves towards the ears and a grimace manifests itself on your face. As the cracker bursts with a loud bang, there emanates a jerky shrug from your shoulder. Wisps of smoke rise skywards, and lo, your cracker virginity for this year has been lost.

For all the other crackers, there is hardly any reaction, as the body and the mind adapts to that noise.....until next year same time, when you stand watching the first cracker of that year being fired.