Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Divali season is here and is simply enchanting, filled with candles, colors, prayer, celebration and, best of all, fireworks. Driving all around New Delhi, you sense nary a tremor of fear following the mindless bombings here a few days ago.

((Warning: all young mothers of boys--please skip this paragraph)) Markets are teeming, selling all manner of dangerous Indian variants of firecrackers (Thunderbombs, remarkably powerful M-80s, roman candles...) to any eager young boy shoving his fistful of rupees at the vendor. I can testify, as a boy who set off his fair share of illegal Mexican M-80s, 'Half-Sticks' (sold purportedly, of dynamite), and home-made explosives, the ones here are even better. Quality control is weak (witness the steady cry of ambulances last night) due to uneven fusing and powder loads, but the result is VERY exciting. All last night, Delhi sounded like a (very happy) war zone.

With that, I highly recommend deferring any Divali visits to sufferers of acousticophobia:

n : a morbid fear of sounds including your own voice; from the Greek akoustikos `pertaining to hearing'