Happy Diwali Hyderabad!

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of India  , Andhra Pradesh,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So it must be in my genes...because any holiday were you are allowed to buy obnoxiously large explosive devices is a great holiday for me.  It's Diwali in India once again and...once again I'm off to buy incredibly large fireworks and mortars that are probably illegal in every country except India and China.  This year Tanya has also organized for the kids at the local village near my house to come over so we're buying some "safe" fireworks for them to play with while yours truly fires off the big boys. 
The fireworks stand in India is very much like those in the U.S. during the 4th of July...all the stands are close together and everyone has basically the same stuff.  My driver Ryas hooked us up with a buddy of his to get some heavy duty discounts...but I fear my white face is cause for most people (even my drivers friends) to charge me more than the local price.  That's ok...I'm used to the "expat tax".  We ended up buy a few mortars, a few hundred crackers, a bunch of sparkles...and what I called "the big boy".  Which was a 200 shot, mortar firework that you light once and it goes off for 30 minutes.  The big boy cost me about $75...but I wanted something big that could keep the kids entertained for a while while I drank my cold beer and enjoyed the show.
So Diwali is more than just fireworks...it's as significant a holiday in India as Christmas is in the States.  You can read more about it here...but  for most families in India, the holiday also involves lighting some oil lamps around the house which signifies victory of good over the evil within an individual.  I could use some of that victory over evil so Tanya created a little Diwali shrine in my house which we lit the oil lamps and did a little puja.  As the sun set I grabbed a cold beer and my cache of weapons (read: fireworks) and headed down to the parking garage where the neighborhood kids were already gathered.  Tanya (along with help from watchman Murthy and driver Ryas) handed out cookies and sparklers...both of which we soon ran out.  Then the kids wanted the big fireworks so we handed out some crackers...which we quickly ran out of.  I swear those kids went thru thousands of sparkles and crackers quicker than you could have bought them.  The mortars were impressive and everyone enjoyed those...but finally the time had come for the big boy...the 200 shot mortar.  It did not disappoint.  For 20 minutes we sat around watching explosion after explosion, scream after scream, blast after blast.

It twas a good Divali...just needed better beer to drink.
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