November 08, 2015

How I shunned crackers and still had a blast

I pride myself on quitting bursting crackers more than a decade ago. By the time I was in Class X, I had begun to understand how silly it is to pollute environment for momentary show of light. Perhaps my father's insistence the previous Diwali that we don't spend more than Rs100 on crackers, and me having to haggle over it, had killed the fun element of bursting them. 

So while sensible parenting sucked joy out of my life, having awesomely rambunctious seniors in school turned out to be a consolation. Though this incident happened 17 years ago, I remember it vividly. I was in Class VI. It was the day of inspection at our school. The moment our principal gave the bouquet to the inspecting team's chief, a loud bomb went off in the boys' toilet. The timing was so perfect! The day after the blast, the principal exploded in the morning assembly. My impressionable mind was deeply impressed. I was full of admiration for the unsung heroes behind this entertaining episode. It became my dream to repeat the feat when I grew up. 

Loud "booms" and "dhadaams" in the toilet every year around Diwali kept the fire in me alive. Years rolled by and I found myself in Class XII. Destiny beckoned me, but I was a chicken. Thank God I'm blessed with great friends. I had once shared my this desire with Munda (nickname). So one day, around Diwali, he asked me to come to the school early the next day.

As planned, Munda and I went to the lavatory, he peeled off the paper from the bomb's fuse, pulled out an incense stick, we wrapped the bomb's fuse carefully around it, deliberating upon its length so that the bomb goes off during the morning assembly. There was another risk factor. We had placed the bomb near the commode, so if someone were to sit to empty his bowel in that chamber, his morning was going to be eventful. We reasoned nobody would need to come to that chamber that early, and moreover who doesn't do his morning rituals at home ought to be punished.

So we lit up the incense stick's fragment and assumed our position for the morning assembly. With much anticipation we stood during the morning prayer: hands folded and praying to God to bless us with good judgement. The infamous pledge about all Indians being brothers and sisters was under way, when a loud sound from boys' toilet made the morning interesting. BOOOOOM!

Boys were elated. Girls went "hawww". Teachers were surprised at the audacity of the culprits. And the culprits were revelling in that smug feeling. The principal was yelling that he has terrorists for students. This only heightened our sense of accomplishment. What's funnier is that he thought a notorious junior of ours was the miscreant and kept harassing him the following days, hoping he'd crack and confess to 'his' crime. What entertainment!

That, my dear friends, is what festivals are about. Celebration, making memories and having a 'blast' with your loved ones. In fond memory of that event, I repeated the feat in my college too, this time taking the lead. So satisfying! Cannot end this blogpost without saying that I hope our principal doesn't come across this write-up. He shouldn't know it was us!

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