Monday, January 31, 2011

That Diwali ...(Part of Fire and Freeze Indivine Contest)

Yet I could not cry and I so much wanted to
I could not scream
and I would have in silence
I just stared in those eyes which were not meeting mines..

Sometimes there are stories that are remembered more often than the incidences that strike us in real life. We have a tendency to remember stories that are fictitious and inculcate them in our lives .Reality always loses its taste in this world of virtual desires and never ending artificial wants. But this one did not and will not ever.

This is something on paper which is very close to my heart, happened long time back.

I always have lived in a nuclear family and in terms of places my family has shifted a lot of times across Indian cities. A few years back, we were living in Bareilly, one of the famous cities in the state of U.P in India. Our house which we had taken on rent was situated a little outside the city, in the suburbs. The reason behind the location was as always the comparisons of the distances of their respective offices between my parents, often landing in a location midway between both. The house was part of a pseudo colony not occupied fully at that time. Beside our colony or rather at the backside of it was a ramshackle Basti which was occupied by workers of the colony: the maids, the cleaners, the sweepers and other household helpers.

I personally am based out of Hyderabad owing to my work and hence going home for Diwali is a much awaited event. I was going to Bareilly for the first time that year; my parents had shifted just a few days back to that city. As I entered the colony from the backside (the front side was blocked due to some road construction work), my first words were "Where have you guys taken the house, this Basti is just aligned to the rear side of the house: anyone can jump over the cliff and climb over the backside". My father said "The workers are trustworthy" , I totally ignored the comment, keeping in mind the same notion which many of us carry about anything that creates in us a sense of fear or insecurity.

Then came the day of celebrations- Diwali brings an essence which has so many flavors in it, cleaning our house, decorating it, shopping and more shopping and the joy of burning those little firecrackers, the sweets and the tooth aches after that, the rides to market forgetting to buy a pooja item, the rangoli and the best part is the time spent with your family.

Over the years I have become more environment friendly and hence on that Diwali we purchased fewer crackers than we had over the past Diwalis. But the joy was the same, after the rituals we lighted them and took several photographs binding them for the years to come. My mother asked me to put Diyas on the upper floor of the house. After completing the work I peeped over the wall in the Basti, it was also lit with some bulbs, and children were outside their houses playing. But not all huts looked like celebrating the festival of joy.

That night was chilly; “Diwali eve” celebrations were already over. I was in bed warming my hands while rubbing and puffing at the same time. Half of the household was already asleep, the rest drooling half way through sleep. I heard some whispers. Not sure if it was the breeze or something else, I ignored them and kept sitting with the blanket around me. Again there were faint noises and footsteps that I could hear this time clearly. The sound came again and this time there was no doubt that it involved a human. With a mixed feeling of anxiety and fright, anger and braveness, I decided to go to the roof, with a stick clasped in my hand (the other sweating profusely) I went upstairs. Walking towards the staircase my heart and mind was full of anger and rage, ' must be those idiotic Basti wallas, want to steal some money on Diwali, cheap people, losers, think that stealing is their birth right'. I was so angry that I could feel my blood running super-fast in my veins and at the tip of oozing out at the same time. This has to be tackled, I thought.

What I saw, I will remember till the end of anything I remember ever.

There was a child as thin as one ever could be, initially I presumed him to be a ghost going by the body he had.The body or the skeleton was covered with rags and I had to light the roof bulb to actually see that the rags were also limited to bare essentials. I was everything at that moment that he was not and still I was angry for his intruding into our place to steal must be to steal - I was convinced.

Yes he was stealing, in his mud covered hands he was holding what were the...

Humanity had lost its path, never had I felt more ashamed of my existence, than that day. He told me he wasn’t a thief and he was just picking up the BURNT FIRECRACKERS, for his sister and that he promised to pay me 50 paisa amount when his dad sold the peanuts his mother was frying on the other street across the colony.

I wasn’t listening, I wanted to but could not, I wanted to scream 'Go Away, you cheater' but I could not; I myself did not know when the anger, the shame, the sympathy, the guilt, the fear and everything came and went.

PS: This story or reality bite is a part of Indiblogger Fire and Freeze contest powered by Close-Up, under the theme of mixed emotions.

Please vote for it on Indivine if you like it!!

Also visit the close up facebook page and share your story or drop in a comment here at the blog : closeup and smile

Hope you liked this and will remember this one any day you see a kid with the crackers :) .

IndiVine Closeup


  1. Its always the same... people jump to conclusions. As in case of that poor guy who was really not a thief. Nice write up.

  2. Nice work Poorvi. Reading this story gives me a feel as if i am my self going through the experiance. Good writing.

  3. nice craft poorvi ji.. nice portrait of the human emotions.
    definitely vote for you...

  4. Very well written, Poorvi. All the best :)

    Here's my story:

  5. Wow Poorvi.. loved your blog entry. Am voting for it at Indiblogger immediately :)

  6. Nice work Poorvi. I loved it. Here's my story at :

  7. Thanks Guys , usually I am not the one to comment on my posts, but this one is so close to my heart that I had to.

    For all those who read it , please put in your stories also here or as part of the contest or on the closeup facebook page.

  8. are surely sweet by heart...

    Last year I celebrated my diwali with a my maid's little son.. he was happy a feeling I still remember

    my story is here...

  9. hey Poorvi,

    It was the same for me too, the topic of the contest seemed too close to my heart for me to ignore :). Sorry I forgot to mention my entry is at


  10. Hi there, I think your story scores on emotion and originality - nicely done.

  11. touchy and gripping writeup.
    nice take.

  12. A very touching story Poorvi. We normally have our own perceptions for people and that's why we jump to conclusion. All the best for the competition.
    In fact this topic is so tempting that even I could not stop myself from writing something on this: -

  13. Nice and very touching story Poorvi. It clearly shows the huge differences in the lives of ppl and how things which are considered as very small in our lives can bring a huge smile in someone's life.

  14. A very interesting read. Misunderstandings are so very common in life.

  15. Nice one Poorvi! You engage the reader emotionally. :)

  16. I liked your write - up a lot ...

    All the very best ..... read mine and vote for it if you like ...


  17. great story , how our impression about unknown people created by eyes only

  18. very unfortunate things for those who cannot purchase happiness for their kids and those poor kids have been treated as thieves,just because they are poor.very well written and expressed in mixed emotion.
    all the best for the contest.

  19. Yes indeed it is difficult to imagine a life lived by the poorest of poor. Incidents like this awaken our conscience. And happiness is all about sharing. I always give gifts to my maids ans dhoban etc. We should be thankful for our blessings and do out bit for the poor.

    a good post :)

  20. Emotionally engaging for sure! Still that is the beauty of life. Nice one poorvi.. my first time here and truly engrossed. Look forward to be frequent here :)

  21. @All : Thanks ..
    @Mohan : My pleasure Sir ..

  22. nice story poorvi .Please vote for my entry too at

    thanks ..

  23. nice story poorvi .Please vote for my entry too at

    thanks ..

  24. it's really touching.i m have written so beautifully that i cud feel every moment while reading...still not out of that mixed emotions that you had...of course voted.....shared on fb and twity too.

  25. the way he said I will pay to u!
    Bt ya u must hav immediately become deadly silent hai na
    anyway Nice write up ..different from Routine!

  26. nice one Poorvi... the mind has a blockade, it often jumps to conclusion without waiting ..Once i did the same mistake...
    Wonderfully written :)

  27. Very touching story!!!

    Its human nature to jump to conclusions and then stubbornly stick to them even when circumstances say otherwise!!!

    Excellent post

  28. I felt like I was reading my story.. and celebrating the festival of joy with pomp and show.

  29. very touching indeed..but is it story or reality..?