Friday, November 5, 2010


Dewali is to India like Christmas is to USA. People decorate their houses, give gifts to others, light firecrackers and of course everybody overeats.

I took the Metro to a station close to Amar Nath’s place and Mukesh came and picked me up. His house was full of children as usual. After prayers we ate. By this time it was getting dark and people were using firecrackers outside. Amar Nath told me that because of education by the government, people are not using as many firecrackers as they used to. It was still too loud for me. This started at about eight o'clock and went past midnight. There was never more then two minute’s reprieve. I took some video of people lighting firecrackers. I am sure, the day after Dewali, everybody in Delhi is deaf!

The houses on the street were decorated in lights, just like Christmas in US, only more so. It looked like everyone was participating in a game called “I can do it better then you.” It was very festive. The adults were having as much fun as the kids.

Next day I took the metro back to my place. I decided to take some photos of the metro. I took some photos from outside the station. Then I went inside and took one photo of the information counter and map. There was no one inside this counter. All of a sudden a Sikh policeman appeared from nowhere. He yelled, “What are you doing, Sahib?” I was a little taken aback. I told him I was taking a photo of the map. He took my by my arm, very gently, and showed me a signboard far away. The signboard said that photography was strictly prohibited. Then he took me to another information counter. He asked the employee inside for a map. He took map and gave it to me. Then he asked if I could delete the photo I had taken. I deleted the photo. That was it. What is going on in India? Another government employee who is doing a good job!

Since I told everybody two things that I do not like about the metro, I must tell two things that I really like about the metro. First is the signage. The signs are as clear as they can be. Inside the train they have a drawing of that particular metro line with all the stations marked. There is a little light that tells you which station you are on and which is the next station. The second great thing about the metro is the loudspeaker system. You can understand every word of the announcements. Try that in a New York subway.

Later in the day I took the metro to Goel’s place. I had nice time there. Lucky for me, it was the time and day for Kapil to call. He called exactly on time on Skype. It was nice to talk to him.


  1. The web developers Daniel works with in India also described Diwali as "your Christmas." Daniel said he was tempted to ask if that meant they were celebrating the birth of the Indian baby Jesus, but he wasn't sure they would get the joke.

  2. You are right, the joke will get lost on its way from US to India.