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My Wretched Diwali

About Ishan Potnis

Ishan is from from Amchi Mumbai. He is currently pursuing his journalism course. He also does photography as a side profession. He is a person who loves to travel and explore new parts of different countries. He also loves to entertain people around him with a weird sense of humor.

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My Wretched Diwali

 

Diwali is the festival of light and colour, the only time when the entire city drapes a golden blanket on itself. You would see so much vigor and enthusiasm in the crowd only on one other occasion – when India wins a cricket match.
As for me, Diwali has held a different importance compared to every other kid. I was not an introvert child who preferred to stay at home during Diwali and do nothing. I was the one who you would see standing at the start of fire cracker queue. .

I would wake up at 5 in the morning on the auspicious day. As Indian’s we have a tradition of having an early bath on the first day of Diwali with a herbal solution called the ‘Utna’, and for this my mom would wake me up at 4 am in the morning. Yes, I am not joking! It was actually 4 O’clock. However, I never had a problem with that, because I knew once it was over I would get to eat the delicious food prepared specially for Diwali or as we call it, ‘Faral’.

In my locality, we, the kids followed a practice. We would meet up early in the morning to burst crackers. Sounds pretty standard, right? But there’s a catch. Whoever woke up earliest amongst us all and was the first person to light the first cracker in building, wins. Not just metaphorically but the neighborhood chairman actually gave us gifts. Unlike so many other days of school when our parents forced us to wake up, this is what got us all to be up without any hesitation or resentment, way earlier in the morning during the days of Diwali, despite it being school vacation.

As I said I wasn’t an introvert, I was always the troublesome kid who played pranks on people. Some of those have landed me into deep trouble, but nonetheless I was always proud of my “achievements”.

So as a treat to you guys in would like to share a few scary, but fun incidents occurred during Diwali which made my festival really fun.
My Burning Colony.
10th November 2004

The Diwali of 2004 was fun for me but surely not fun for my colony members. I had just started my fifth standard’s Diwali vacation. So, on the first day of Diwali, generally me and my dad would go and get the Diwali crackers. My crackers shopping was normally anar, chakra etc. But this time my father thought I was big enough to handle “Adults Crackers” like sutli bombs, lavangi, etc.

A decision he regretted afterwards.

So as a “normal” me, I went berserk while buying these “Adults Crackers”. As the second day of Diwali arrived, I was completely ready to be a “man” and burst those adults’ crackers. My friends came to call me at 6 in the evening. Like a proud big man I got down from my building and showed my friends the latest possessions that my awesome father got for me. We all started bursting them one by one. We had a hell of a time.

We later decided to tie up the ‘lavangis’ and ‘Sutli bombs’ together and burst them all at the same time. We took them to a secluded area in my colony and lit them.

What happened next, engendered a series of mishaps which later made me regret my decision.

The sparks from the crackers fell on few leaves of the trees around and the trees caught fire. Mind you, it wasn’t a small fire; almost half of our neighbourhood trees were burning and the Fire Brigade had to be called immediately. Fortuitously no one was injured in the incident but a case report was filed. Of course my name came up because they were my fire crackers in the first place. My forlorn father had to pay a huge sum as compensation to the society council and for me, I definitely became much more careful about fire crackers and the destruction they can cause to me and everyone around.

 

My friend on fire
6th November 2010
To say that I was not a silent and docile kid would be an understatement. I have had more instances of getting into trouble than probably any other kid in the world. It was the fourth day of Diwali and just like any other day, everyone had gathered in the building area for bursting crackers.
One of my really good friends, Keyur, he had been on two night shifts for consecutive days and was extremely exhausted. He however didn’t want to miss the Diwali celebration. So he too was present in the evening with of us. But as fate would have it, he was extremely tired and fell asleep on the public bench near the garden.

As for me, I saw him as a bait for my next prank. He was wearing those cargo pants which you would see in every kid’s wardrobe in the early 2000’s. So when he was asleep I put two ‘lavangis’ (a long slender fire cracker made of many tiny explosives) on both his thighs. I ran as I lit them up. As they started bursting his pants caught fire. The noise surely woke him up. He was so panicked he ran towards the nearest water source which was unfortunately a big ‘gutter’. Without much a-do he jumped into the gutter.

The fire immediately stopped and luckily, he didn’t sustain any burns. But as I was laughing, I knew I would be landing in deep trouble. The security guards of my building threw ropes at him and pulled him out.

As I had anticipated, he was enraged with my behavior and complained to his parents, who were furious enough to report this incident to the local police authorities. The authorities came for enquiry purposes at my house. My father and mother were very embarrassed and angry with me, at the same time. The situation was handled by my father very well.I learnt the lesson to never mess around with someone’s life under the pretext of just a prank.

 

When life played a prank with me (Karma time)
13th November, 2015
This is another quirky and amusing incident from my 2015 Diwali. I had the most scary experience of my life. This time I was returning from my trip back from Pune. I took a bus from Pune station, to be back to the Bay in the afternoon at around 3:30 pm. It was a two day trip packed with amazing fun, but it was tiring as hell. I had not slept for two days straight so I was extremely sleepy by the end of the trip.
The bus I took was half empty and there was complete silence. The bus being a luxurious one, the seats were very comfortable and cozy, which were really inviting me to take a short nap. I fell off to sleep while hearing the music. I was totally dead to the world. And then suddenly, due to a rough brake that the bus driver applied, I woke up. I asked the person sitting two seats ahead “Where are we?” I was told we had already reached Panvel, which is in Navi Mumbai, almost 2 hours away from Pune.

I took out my cell phone and my eyes went wide open. I had around 52 missed calls and 32 messages from my family and friends. I promptly called my parents and informed them that I was fine, and on my way. They were pretty tensed from what I could figure out from their voices but they were equally relieved to hear my voice. I replied to few of the messages and took a sigh of relief. While resting and relaxing I fell off to sleep again because of my exhaustion.

I opened my eyes to a complete stranger who wasn’t even the bus driver or conductor. He asked me, “Sir, who are you and where do you want to get down?” I was very scared when I asked him, “Where are we”. He said, “Sir, we are at Dahisar. We saw you as we were about shut the bus doors.”

Dahisar is almost two hours away from Andheri, which is my bus stop. The surroundings were dark and it seemed to be a secluded area. I went blank for a second and panicked deep inside. As I tried to check my cell phone, the battery was dead as well. I couldn’t figure out what to do on a lonely and empty road. I knew my parents would be feeling terrible by now. It was 1o’clock in the night.

Luckily in the darkest hour, I saw a ray of hope. A rickshaw appeared to be coming my way.I hauled down the rickshaw. My terrified expressions spoke to him that evening, much more than I did. He agreed to drop me home and was even kind enough to allow me to use his mobile to call up my parents.

I heard my mother’s sobbing voice on the other side of the phone. Turned out, my entire family had reached home thinking I was lost. I was supposed to reach home by 9 pm. I informed my parents, who were screaming at me, that I was safe and on the way back. God bless the rickshaw driver. This particular moment I reckon defines the concept of humanity. I reached home at 2:30 to be received by my parents and family, welcoming me with showers of abuses.  That was followed by half an hour of lecture. I felt lucky that nothing had happened to me. That was how my Diwali of 2015 ended.

I have never been an easy child to handle and I’m grateful to my parents for their patience. On a more serious note, I would like to add that fire safety is not a joke and I strongly urge everyone to take it seriously because in these cases no one was hurt but someone could have been and it could easily have been catastrophic. All in all, Diwali is a Festival of Lights and happiness and I feel we should celebrate the festival in is true spirit.

Diwali is the festival of light and colour, the only time when the entire city drapes a golden blanket on itself. You would see so much vigor and enthusiasm in the crowd only on one other occasion – when India wins a cricket match.
As for me, Diwali has held a different importance compared to every other kid. I was not an introvert child who preferred to stay at home during Diwali and do nothing. I was the one who you would see standing at the start of fire cracker queue. .

I would wake up at 5 in the morning on the auspicious day. As Indian’s we have a tradition of having an early bath on the first day of Diwali with a herbal solution called the ‘Utna’, and for this my mom would wake me up at 4 am in the morning. Yes, I am not joking! It was actually 4 O’clock. However, I never had a problem with that, because I knew once it was over I would get to eat the delicious food prepared specially for Diwali or as we call it, ‘Faral’.

In my locality, we, the kids followed a practice. We would meet up early in the morning to burst crackers. Sounds pretty standard, right? But there’s a catch. Whoever woke up earliest amongst us all and was the first person to light the first cracker in building, wins. Not just metaphorically but the neighborhood chairman actually gave us gifts. Unlike so many other days of school when our parents forced us to wake up, this is what got us all to be up without any hesitation or resentment, way earlier in the morning during the days of Diwali, despite it being school vacation.

As I said I wasn’t an introvert, I was always the troublesome kid who played pranks on people. Some of those have landed me into deep trouble, but nonetheless I was always proud of my “achievements”.

So as a treat to you guys in would like to share a few scary, but fun incidents occurred during Diwali which made my festival really fun.

 by Ishan Potnis

The Diwali of 2004 was fun for me but surely not fun for my colony members. I had just started my fifth standard’s Diwali vacation. So, on the first day of Diwali, generally me and my dad would go and get the Diwali crackers. My crackers shopping was normally anar, chakra etc. But this time my father thought I was big enough to handle “Adults Crackers” like sutli bombs, lavangi, etc.

A decision he regretted afterwards.

So as a “normal” me, I went berserk while buying these “Adults Crackers”. As the second day of Diwali arrived, I was completely ready to be a “man” and burst those adults’ crackers. My friends came to call me at 6 in the evening. Like a proud big man I got down from my building and showed my friends the latest possessions that my awesome father got for me. We all started bursting them one by one. We had a hell of a time.

We later decided to tie up the ‘lavangis’ and ‘Sutli bombs’ together and burst them all at the same time. We took them to a secluded area in my colony and lit them.

What happened next, engendered a series of mishaps which later made me regret my decision.

The sparks from the crackers fell on few leaves of the trees around and the trees caught fire. Mind you, it wasn’t a small fire; almost half of our neighbourhood trees were burning and the Fire Brigade had to be called immediately. Fortuitously no one was injured in the incident but a case report was filed. Of course my name came up because they were my fire crackers in the first place. My forlorn father had to pay a huge sum as compensation to the society council and for me, I definitely became much more careful about fire crackers and the destruction they can cause to me and everyone around.

 by Ishan Potnis

To say that I was not a silent and docile kid would be an understatement. I have had more instances of getting into trouble than probably any other kid in the world. It was the fourth day of Diwali and just like any other day, everyone had gathered in the building area for bursting crackers.

One of my really good friends, Keyur, he had been on two night shifts for consecutive days and was extremely exhausted. He however didn’t want to miss the Diwali celebration. So he too was present in the evening with of us. But as fate would have it, he was extremely tired and fell asleep on the public bench near the garden.

As for me, I saw him as a bait for my next prank. He was wearing those cargo pants which you would see in every kid’s wardrobe in the early 2000’s. So when he was asleep I put two ‘lavangis’ (a long slender fire cracker made of many tiny explosives) on both his thighs. I ran as I lit them up. As they started bursting his pants caught fire. The noise surely woke him up. He was so panicked he ran towards the nearest water source which was unfortunately a big ‘gutter’. Without much a-do he jumped into the gutter.

The fire immediately stopped and luckily, he didn’t sustain any burns. But as I was laughing, I knew I would be landing in deep trouble. The security guards of my building threw ropes at him and pulled him out.

As I had anticipated, he was enraged with my behavior and complained to his parents, who were furious enough to report this incident to the local police authorities. The authorities came for enquiry purposes at my house. My father and mother were very embarrassed and angry with me, at the same time. The situation was handled by my father very well.I learnt the lesson to never mess around with someone’s life under the pretext of just a prank.

This is another quirky and amusing incident from my 2015 Diwali. I had the most scary experience of my life. This time I was returning from my trip back from Pune. I took a bus from Pune station, to be back to the Bay in the afternoon at around 3:30 pm. It was a two day trip packed with amazing fun, but it was tiring as hell. I had not slept for two days straight so I was extremely sleepy by the end of the trip.
The bus I took was half empty and there was complete silence. The bus being a luxurious one, the seats were very comfortable and cozy, which were really inviting me to take a short nap. I fell off to sleep while hearing the music. I was totally dead to the world. And then suddenly, due to a rough brake that the bus driver applied, I woke up. I asked the person sitting two seats ahead “Where are we?” I was told we had already reached Panvel, which is in Navi Mumbai, almost 2 hours away from Pune.

I took out my cell phone and my eyes went wide open. I had around 52 missed calls and 32 messages from my family and friends. I promptly called my parents and informed them that I was fine, and on my way. They were pretty tensed from what I could figure out from their voices but they were equally relieved to hear my voice. I replied to few of the messages and took a sigh of relief. While resting and relaxing I fell off to sleep again because of my exhaustion.

I opened my eyes to a complete stranger who wasn’t even the bus driver or conductor. He asked me, “Sir, who are you and where do you want to get down?” I was very scared when I asked him, “Where are we”. He said, “Sir, we are at Dahisar. We saw you as we were about shut the bus doors.”

Dahisar is almost two hours away from Andheri, which is my bus stop. The surroundings were dark and it seemed to be a secluded area. I went blank for a second and panicked deep inside. As I tried to check my cell phone, the battery was dead as well. I couldn’t figure out what to do on a lonely and empty road. I knew my parents would be feeling terrible by now. It was 1o’clock in the night.

Luckily in the darkest hour, I saw a ray of hope. A rickshaw appeared to be coming my way.I hauled down the rickshaw. My terrified expressions spoke to him that evening, much more than I did. He agreed to drop me home and was even kind enough to allow me to use his mobile to call up my parents.

I heard my mother’s sobbing voice on the other side of the phone. Turned out, my entire family had reached home thinking I was lost. I was supposed to reach home by 9 pm. I informed my parents, who were screaming at me, that I was safe and on the way back. God bless the rickshaw driver. This particular moment I reckon defines the concept of humanity. I reached home at 2:30 to be received by my parents and family, welcoming me with showers of abuses.  That was followed by half an hour of lecture. I felt lucky that nothing had happened to me. That was how my Diwali of 2015 ended.

I have never been an easy child to handle and I’m grateful to my parents for their patience. On a more serious note, I would like to add that fire safety is not a joke and I strongly urge everyone to take it seriously because in these cases no one was hurt but someone could have been and it could easily have been catastrophic. All in all, Diwali is a Festival of Lights and happiness and I feel we should celebrate the festival in is true spirit.

This is another quirky and amusing incident from my 2015 Diwali. I had the most scary experience of my life. This time I was returning from my trip back from Pune. I took a bus from Pune station, to be back to the Bay in the afternoon at around 3:30 pm. It was a two day trip packed with amazing fun, but it was tiring as hell. I had not slept for two days straight so I was extremely sleepy by the end of the trip.
The bus I took was half empty and there was complete silence. The bus being a luxurious one, the seats were very comfortable and cozy, which were really inviting me to take a short nap. I fell off to sleep while hearing the music. I was totally dead to the world. And then suddenly, due to a rough brake that the bus driver applied, I woke up. I asked the person sitting two seats ahead “Where are we?” I was told we had already reached Panvel, which is in Navi Mumbai, almost 2 hours away from Pune.

I took out my cell phone and my eyes went wide open. I had around 52 missed calls and 32 messages from my family and friends. I promptly called my parents and informed them that I was fine, and on my way. They were pretty tensed from what I could figure out from their voices but they were equally relieved to hear my voice. I replied to few of the messages and took a sigh of relief. While resting and relaxing I fell off to sleep again because of my exhaustion.

I opened my eyes to a complete stranger who wasn’t even the bus driver or conductor. He asked me, “Sir, who are you and where do you want to get down?” I was very scared when I asked him, “Where are we”. He said, “Sir, we are at Dahisar. We saw you as we were about shut the bus doors.”

Dahisar is almost two hours away from Andheri, which is my bus stop. The surroundings were dark and it seemed to be a secluded area. I went blank for a second and panicked deep inside. As I tried to check my cell phone, the battery was dead as well. I couldn’t figure out what to do on a lonely and empty road. I knew my parents would be feeling terrible by now. It was 1o’clock in the night.

Luckily in the darkest hour, I saw a ray of hope. A rickshaw appeared to be coming my way.I hauled down the rickshaw. My terrified expressions spoke to him that evening, much more than I did. He agreed to drop me home and was even kind enough to allow me to use his mobile to call up my parents.

I heard my mother’s sobbing voice on the other side of the phone. Turned out, my entire family had reached home thinking I was lost. I was supposed to reach home by 9 pm. I informed my parents, who were screaming at me, that I was safe and on the way back. God bless the rickshaw driver. This particular moment I reckon defines the concept of humanity. I reached home at 2:30 to be received by my parents and family, welcoming me with showers of abuses.  That was followed by half an hour of lecture. I felt lucky that nothing had happened to me. That was how my Diwali of 2015 ended.

I have never been an easy child to handle and I’m grateful to my parents for their patience. On a more serious note, I would like to add that fire safety is not a joke and I strongly urge everyone to take it seriously because in these cases no one was hurt but someone could have been and it could easily have been catastrophic. All in all, Diwali is a Festival of Lights and happiness and I feel we should celebrate the festival in is true spirit.

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1 Response Comment

  • Bhavi Gathani14/10/2017 at 7:12 PM

    Woaahhh!!! This is serious man!!! But definitely fun while reading 😉

    Reply

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