Today it’s 24th October and it’s still deepavali. An earlier occasion when the festival fell on this date was in 1995, which I rank among my best deepavalis ever
24th October 1995 saw a total solar eclipse in India. In Bangalore it was only partial but clearly visible. We had procured special goggles (made of aluminium foil or something) to view the eclipse. I don’t remember any other solar eclipse during my lifetime of close to 32 years getting that much footage.
I don’t have too many cousins (total of 5 both sides put together) but a couple of them were home that deepavali. So after the eclipse we went off to see The Mask in galaxy. One cousin who was 18 them just couldn’t get enough of Cameron Diaz’s cleavage and legs, I remember.
We came back and burst crackers. The previous day too we had burst – deepavali is a three day festival in Bangalore and usually we burst lots of crackers on days 1 and 3. Back then I remember going to relatives’ houses and relatives coming to my house to burst crackers together.
On day three (25 October 1995) we went to see Rangeela in urvashi. I was quite enamoured by Urmila Matondkar’s assets but couldn’t do or say a thing since my dad was sitting next to me! Just quietly watched. And back in those days there was no YouTube or Internet to make amends later!
I remember ruling thulping food at MTR after the movie. Don’t remember what I ate though.
And again we burst crackers that evening – in a cousins house if I remember right (or it might have been the other way round – cousins house oh day 2 and my house on day 3. I don’t remember now).
This was only the latter half of the five day deepavali weekend that year. On the first two days 21st and 22nd I’d gone for a chess tournament somewhere in Rajajinagar (one of my last tournaments before I retired from competitive chess). I remember starting the tournament nondescriptly but having a spectacular second day of the tournament to finish with 4 out of 6 points, losing out on a podium finish on progressive score.
It was a spectacular five day weekend overall. The variety in fun was significant, and the quantity too!
Of late though I’ve stopped celebrating deepavali – crackers don’t excite me any more and there is nothing else to the festival as far as I’m concerned!
As I’d remarked on this blog a year or so back – festivals are like memes. In the original sense of the word, as Richard Dawkins intended it when he invented the word!