Monday 4 November 2013

The [Deafening] Sound of Diwali

Last year during Diwali, I was in Jaipur with a friend.  We spent the main evening of the festival watching a group of dancers balancing progressively larger piles of pots on their heads within the relatively quiet confines of our hotel (errr, fascinating).  When I returned home later that week, Mr Jules complained about the noise in Mumbai and how he'd woken up with a start in the middle of the night thinking that our apartment building had exploded. I thought he was exaggerating. That was, until I spent the evening at home last night - listening to the 'sounds' of Bombay Diwali.

You want to know what the joyous sound of Diwali is like?  Think Syrian air strikes, London during the Blitz, or the attack on Pearl Harbour and you are three quarters of the way there.  Imagine Guy Faulk's night with rocket launchers and then multiply it by ten households in your immediate vicinity and you've got a 'quiet' Diwali night in. 

Seriously - it's quite terrifying!  The fireworks start as soon as it gets dark and go on until the early hours.  But it is the bangers which sound so bad.  For these bangers are no ordinary bangers - they literally sound like bombs going off.  They are completely deafening and never fail to make you jump out of your seat. Spare a thought for babies, cats and dogs.

I just don't understand how this extremely threatening sound can be part of such a joyous celebration. Can anyone please enlighten me?  Since when was it the 'Festival of Hullabaloo'?

And the noises are not just restricted to the evenings - as I write this at about 9.30 in the morning - I can hear reels of firecrackers going off and other bangs reverberating around the neighbourhood.  What's wrong with a bit of loud Bollywood music I ask you!?

Anyway, despite the moans (baaaah humbug!), I do hope that all my Indian readers had a lovely time with their families during the Festival of Lights.

But next year, would you mind keeping it down a bit please? ;)

Three sets of fireworks going off nearby last night.  The display to the left went on for two hours.


  1. I feel your pain, Jules. As a Mumbaikar/Indian, I've been fed up myself with the "sounds" of Diwali considering it is literally the festival of "lights". Somewhere, someone got the interpretation wrong. :)

    But you'll be glad to know that the sound levels have definitely gone down the past few years. I've had noisier Diwalis in my childhood. So I guess the awareness is there. Hopefully, it will ease up further in the coming years.

    Did you at least gorge on some Diwali goodies? Food is my favourite part of any Indian festival. :)

    1. Hey J how you doing? I couldn't believe that the bombs were still going on last night! Woke at 2pm with a start...terrifying! And this is quieter???!! I dread to think what it must have been like before! We received quite a few boxes of sweets and nuts - just like Christmas! :)



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