well, i got sick again, but i popped some pills and headed into the bowels of koramangala for dewali. our host's suv navigated the dark unpaved streets, expertly dodging the missles and bombs exploding all around us.
our hostess, R, is an uncoventional indian, who i had never seen in a sari until last night. her mother, father and brother were also clearly very unconventional--there was a hippie vibe to all of them--but we were nonetheless were treated to a traditional dewali. after some homemade wine, we had puja, and then a tasty traditional south indian vegetarian dinner. just as we were about to go out and blow up our "crackers", the rains came. so instead we headed upstairs for a jam session with electric guitar, bass and bongos.
as midnight rolled around and the rains continued, we realized there would be no easy way to get home, so festivities continued until 5am, at which point the rains subsided and R insisted we blow up hitler in front of a much hated neighbor's house. i became the voice of reason--(1) we would be waking up the entire neighborhood, including her parents, and (2) we might be caught. but R continued her cajoling. i was about to cave when her parents arrived. whew! we dodged a bullet--they would have surely caught us and been horrified by our irresponsible behavior in front of their home. or not. R told her mom about her plan, and much to all of our surprise she became its biggest proponent! that was all i needed. we headed out into the dark, wet, muddy and now utterly silent streets where we shooed away the stray dogs and set up hitler where he was sure to wreak the most havoc. it began to drizzle. for some reason i was forced to do the deed (and no doubt the time if we were caught). i lit hitler. we all ran, giggling like children. we looked back expectantly. nothing happened. hitler was a dud. that nazi bastard.
unfortunately there was no time for another attempt, as R had to pick up a friend at the airport, so we all found our way home, vowing to make up for our "crakerless" dewali at a later date.