As the entire country celebrates Diwali, the Festival of Lights, I decided to look around Hyderabad and see how people were taking in the festive atmosphere.
The festival truly lived up to its name, with every other building being lit up with lights, both electric and non-electric. Strangely, Dr. Reddy's was not awash with festivities: maybe the effects of a slowing economy are showing. Then again, the buildings around it were decorated with lights that made up for the Pharma giant's lack of enthusiasm.
The sky was a riot of colours with patakas taking wings. Hyderabadis have always loved doing things big, and the sky seems to be the limit to that! Then again, how can one celebrate Diwali without the classic 1000-bomb (or even 10000-bomb) patakas? They make a lot of noise - but that's a good thing.
This year, the shops were not very busy as people preferred bursting crackers to shopping. The flower pots and charkas were all there, as were the diyas. Continuing the tradition that's been going on for thousands of years, people used earthen diyas to light up their porch, although the modern earthen diya often comes with wax instead of ghee.
Every store, from RS Bros. to Hyderabad Central, were awash with lights, as enterprising owners tried to lure customers with special offers.
There was also a sad side to the celebrations: the sight of mongrels being frightened out of their wits was common as one walked down the road. Diwali is a difficult time for our co-earthlings. Speaking of walking down the road, even that was difficult because of the continuous fear of stepping on a pataka. But a reporter must do his duty!
But the festivities haven't ended yet: crackers will be going off all night (nobody ever listens to the police on such occasions) and the sky will continue to be a riot of colours. And I shall send a prayer that this display of unity lasts at a time when India needs it the most.
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