BANGALORE : While the rest of the city is distributing sweets, bursting crackers or doing puja, I do something different every Diwali, anything that takes me away from the noise that drives me crazy.
Crackers have always given me earaches, headaches and sometimes near panic attacks. When I was in Class 3, I was getting into our car to return from our grandparents’ house in Sundarnagar when someone lit a bomb just a few feet away. This was the beginning of all the pain and fear I experience during the festive season. Our ENT specialist even told me that it was a form of migraine.
When I was younger, I would usually prefer to spend the two-three days of holidays at my semi-residential school near Magadi. Once, a bunch of us even trekked to Savanadurga and back. One other time, on the night before school reopened after a brief break, I was the only student on the 22-acre campus, and simply loved it.
Over the past couple of years though, on Diwali, my parents, sister and I hurry off to a mall in the evening to watch a movie.
Well, let me pause here to say that when the four of us go out, it’s usually either for dinner or to catch a play. If loud noises distress me during Diwali, they bother my dad all the time. When we watch movies at home, while the rest of us can barely lip read dialogues, he’s already complaining that the volume is a notch too high. My mother dozes off watching anything that’s slow moving, or depressing, or disturbing, or violent, or serious, anything that’s not feel-good and funny.
My sister refuses to step out of the house once she’s back from college. Unless we feel like emptying our wallets on a weekend show, the two of us can’t make it to anything together either.
So, as you can imagine, family movie outings are rare. But during the festive days, all of us are united by one purpose, to keep the cracker noise at bay. If I stuff cotton in my ears to block the cracker noise, my dad does it in the theatre to soften the movie soundtrack.
Well, this year, we made it to two films, The Judge and Haider. The first, everyone loved; and in the second, my dad admired the scenic Kashmir shots and my mom caught up with some sleep.