City Life – Kelash, Tyson and Diwali

The Karachi Walla has just made new friends at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir and could not refuse an invite for Diwali, which is a much less attended and quieter experience compared to what it is at Shri Swami Narayan Mandir. It has its own charm though.

We find Maharaj standing in the room where chief deities are kept. The room is well lit for the occasion and people are dressed up. It is still early in the night and I expect more people to show up. We walk out into the courtyard after a bit where the children are setting up the fireworks. The crackers are loud, bordering to deafening. I take a tissue out and tear into pieces and put them in my ears. It does not work. They fall off as I walk past the courtyard. We decide to walk to the promenade where it seems dim and quiet.

There I find Kelash, the general secretary of Mandir’s organizing committee. He is busy lighting up diyas. There are not many and they catch fire slowly. He has plastic plates which helps lamps float in the sea. I ask him if they wash away with the tide. He shows me a wire which is tied up to the each lamp. He has put some weight on the other end and dropped it into the sea, anchoring them along the shoreline. Some children throw crackers near the promenade wall. I tremble and I am not the only one. A dog suddenly shows up on the roof of an adjacent structure and starts barking. I am not sure if he is disturbed by the noise or the fact that he cannot join the party.

‘He is my dog, Tyson, a rod whiler. I brought him from Germany. He has a passport also’, Kelsah informs us as he sets free another lamp into the water. The lamp turns upside down as its center of gravity is little twisted. He shakes his head and find a styrofoam base for the next lamp. Tyson lets out another loud roar but it disappears into the noise of crackers.

Kelash is done with all his lamps. There were only eight to ten. He tells me that there was a time when he used to release more than 200 lamps into the water.

‘But it was only possible because I was not married back then, can’t do such stuff after getting married’, he chuckles. ‘Why would I lie, this is the reality’, he adds.

We climb back to the main courtyard where I find a kid setting up a speaker higher than his height. Bhajjans follow. Women design Rangoli on the floor. A senior police guy shows up for inspection little later and takes photos. More crackers go out. The sky fills with the smoke. I hear Tyson’s roar in the background. I walk towards the roar where I find Kelash standing right below his shadow. I ask them for a photo and they happily pose for it.

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Categories: City Life

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