Karachi Walla’s happy night out. After an uneventful day at work, I went home to pick up my camera and told my mother who was offering maghrib prayers on her jai namaz that I am off to Shri Swami Narayan Mandir to celebrate Diwali. A moment of silence followed. Then she broke the silence and said, “Shave your camouflage off and wear your eid ka kurta”. I obeyed the order like an obedient child and drove off to M.A. Jinnah road.
It’s last week of October already but one still cannot feel the occasional chill of autumn in the air. However one can witness the change in Sun’s moment in the sky. It was twilight by the time I stepped out and pitch dark when I was still making my way through humongous traffic in Saddar. The City of Lights as we knew it is not an epitome of what its title suggests. However there was party going on around M.A. Jinnah road. There was some govt. sponsored function going on at Khaliq Dina which looked gorgeous with barely ample lighting. Next we saw a procession near Jamma cloth market shrine. But very soon we forgot about all of them. We stopped the car in front of the tiny entrance of the temple on M.A.Jinnah road. The cars were not allowed inside the parking lot. We walked with a group of people to the temple from the road. People were dressed up for the occasion and we saw children carrying fireworks in their hands. Inside there were carts selling fireworks, bangles, sweets and popcorn. There were poeple all over; Men, women and children. There were lights, music and smiles. The joy was contagious. It made one delightful and feel part of it. We walked randomly, from one end to another, making way through the crowds, putting our fingers in ears to save us from deafening sounds of crackers. The sky was lit with colorful fireworks every now and then. Every other person had their mobile phone out memorizing the moment in their cellphone’s memory. Diwali, the festival of lights was celebrated in the same spirit as it is around the globe. Karachi was not far behind.
Light is a metaphor for knowledge. By celebrating the festivities, Hindus mark the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil. It dates back to the ancient times marking the summer harvest in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. The celebrations last five days.
The adjoining street was decorated with fairy lights. A pickup van was parked in the middle carrying huge speakers playing popular filmi tracks. The kids danced to its tune. The fireworks went on. Spreading light in the sky and joy on the faces of those watching it. It was blissful.
The evening filled us with happiness. That setting had a promise. That the Christmas would be merrier. That the new year would be happier. And the diwali would be more colorful. That the glitter and glamour would come back. That Karachi would shine.