Everyones going crackers its Diwali after all. But this year,the deafening noise and gunpowder smoke have been added to by the bigger Diwali planned one month later,when those who have been in exile hope to return and reap the harvest. In anticipation,explosive new fireworks have hit the market. Here are the some of the more popular ones:
The NaMoRaGa Racket: Originally called a rocket,it has been renamed a Racket because of the excessive noise and double dhamaka produced by this version. It is basically a two-stage rocket what happens on one stage gets responded to on another stage a sort of jingoistic jugalbandi,but one that is packed with highly explosive charges and is meant to appeal to a targeted customer segment. In the firecracker market,its called the Shahzada Sparkler. So far,the public seems to have taken to the new cracker and have given it a two thumbs-up.
The Bihari Blaster: This one,similar to the one above,is also a two-stage device,and has been named the Bihari Blaster because of its origin and the highly colourful effect it produces when the fuse is lit. In some quarters,it is being referred to as the Hitler-Goebbels bomb,after its creator,Nitish Kumar,made some crackling references to its counterpart in Gujarat. Now that both fuses have been lit,expect more fireworks to light up the skies and our television screens.
The Flower Plots: Every Diwali,the most visible crackers on display are the flower pots,or anaars,the ones that children love the most. Gujarat traders are selling Modi Flower Pots,but this year,we have a variety which originated in Madhya Pradesh where local Congressmen demanded that lotus ponds be covered since they gave undue advantage to a rival product. It was a symbol of what lies ahead it could lead to certain parties in Delhi demanding that other symbols like brooms be banned so that their rivals products do not monopolise the fireworks market,never mind the question of who cleans up the mess.
The Sardar Sparkler: Also known as the Patel Rap,the beauty of this is that it goes up to quite a height and generates much sound and fury. It also involves another Sardar,one with very little sound and not much fury either. This particular firecracker,unveiled last week,is packed with multiple charges,ranging from secularism to the choice of prime minister,all on a common stage and in full public view where the incumbent and anointed cross swords or,more precisely,exchange cross words.
The Gold Rush: Another perennial favourite made in Unnao,it is highly expensive,almost as precious as gold,so customers need to dig deep to acquire it. Created by a visionary and with the ASI stamp,it creates a dream sequence when lit and is treasured by all those who seek to invoke Lakshmi,the goddess of wealth. Buyers need to be aware of fakes which can lead customers up the garden path where,instead of a jackpot,they just get jacked.
The Symbolism: This year,Diwali has been all about symbolism,from crackers named after prime ministerial hopefuls to some truly explosive fireworks on the cricket pitch courtesy Virat Kohli and George Bailey,the election campaign which is being made out to be a battle for the victory of good over evil,and the Sensex shooting up into the sky,suggesting that Lakshmi and Ganesha may have decided to add some sparkle to Diwali celebrations. Finally,we can all hope that the lights that symbolise the festival are the light at the end of the tunnel.
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