Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This week was Diwali, a Hindu festival celebrated by setting off copious quantities of firecrackers. For three nights our sleep has been punctuated by large bangs, long whistles and bursts of light, not dissimilar to the background noise in a war film. As an Australian male, I of course could not pass up on the opportunity to purchase some of these cheap “no license required” explosives and went with Miriam and Amos, one of the farm boys, to acquire some pyrotechnic paraphernalia.

The usually sleepy town of Banbassa was teeming with people eager to purchase Potaka’s (firecrackers) and every shop, regardless of their normal trade, is a front for some serious explosive merchandise. Amos (pictured centre) initially had a hard time choosing from the selection as he had never possessed so much purchasing power ($50AUD) in his life. We soon prodded him along and he was caught up in the excitement and we soon had about 5 or 6 bags filled with rockets, fountains, star bursts, spinning wheels and sparklers.

As the most qualified explosive expert on the farm, I was chosen to manage the event and I chose 4 trustworthy boys to help light (and guard) the fireworks. The girls handled the sparkler distribution process from the sidelines, and after the big show it was reported to me that the kids enjoyed the sparklers the most. No problem though as I had more fun than could be imagined after 31 years of enforced fireworks abstinence. At one stage during the show I heard a loud whistle, a flash of light and then a hundred or so crowd members let out a sigh of relief. I wasn’t sure why until later when I saw this photo of a rocket misfiring, landing centimeters from my head and then shooting back into the air. Needless to say Miriam was very glad when I emerged from the firework haze unscathed. I can’t wait until New Years….


  1. you make me laugh. your antics.

  2. Sounds like Texas around the 4th of July!!! I brought back one of the multidues of junk mail catalogues for the drooling guys down my way. :) I can think of one special person who would have had a blast (um, no pun intended) in either place...

  3. That's interesting. We visited some friends last week an their indian neighbours were celebrating, too. Everything was colourful und gave our friends some Indian food, which was looking like some bucks :-), fried and and really spicy.
    No fireworks, by the way, only some smoky sticks, which have set their wallpaper on fire last year.