Blast!! (pun intended) He thought. Another nightmarish Diwali :(
I mean, it's not like he hated the explosive variety. He hated even the sparklers. Suresh Heblikar would have been proud of him if not for the fact that he could do nothing to prevent his share of contribution to global warming. And thus he spent a few Diwalis that way...
Finally on one Christmas eve ,he found a solution to this problem. Watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!", he was thrilled with the idea of a creature of this sort(who could steal holidays, not trinkets, but holidays ladies and gentlemen!!) who would come to his rescue and steal Diwali. But how was he, a mere boy, supposed to contact him? Grinch was spotted in Whoville once in a while, but where did he reside for most of his time? Heck, even if he'd write a letter addressed to "Mr.Grinch, Whoville" would it reach him? (If "Dear Santa, North Pole" can reach the jolly old guy, why not our friend here?) He decided he wouldn't allow such petty obstacles prevent him from executing his plans. So be it...
So he went and contacted the television channel who aired the show, asking them the contact address of a certain, Mr.Grinch. The guy who answered the call was pretty revulsed to be asked such information. Our hero made up a story that he was the reporter of a leading bi-weekly that caters to large group of business entrepreneurs and how with the stock market booming, they would love to know more about the creature, who in course of time would become a brand ambassador of major products world wide (I know this doesn't make sense, but that was the height of his desperation to rid Diwali) "Just think, a lot of kids would buy everything that some green creature endorsed. Why man, Grinch is the next "in" thing. You wouldn't understand all this. So why don't you.."
Dial tone. Drat. The channel guy had seen through our hero's cover..
It was time to take the risk and write a letter to the green guy. I have reproduced below the contents of that letter, to the best of my memory (as the hero of this story recounted to me one day):
Mr Grinch Sir,
I'm a big fan of yours :) I'm not sure whether this will reach you or not, but I am writing this with utmost desperation. So I request you to please listen to what I have to say.
Your attempts over the years to steal Christmas, I must say have been very fascinating. I'm sure Christmas is really big in your part of the world. But you see, to cater to a wide range of people, you must reinvent yourself (Don't take this wrong, sir, I respect you a lot) I have a proposal for you.
This year why don't you come down to India, during the month of October, and we could have great fun stealing a festival called Diwali, that's celebrated here. I'm pretty sure this will be very much to your liking. We will have lots of crackers and fireworks to steal, and we'll destroy them all. Please let me know if you need any further assistance in reaching here, assuming that you agree to my proposal (I'm hopeful you will)
(our hero's sign)
He addressed this letter to "Mr Grinch, Whoville" and hoped to see a reply in positive soon. Days turned into months as he waited for the reply. He hoped against hope that Grinch still resided in Whoville, and had not moved out elsewhere. That'd be bad for him...
5 months later,on a sunny afternoon, when he had almost given up hope, he got a surprise! A letter lay on his desk. It was open. Had his father seen the contents ? He hoped not. Hands shaking he took the letter and stared at the reply:
Buzz off... I'm retired now. Besides, I'll have nothing to do with a festival celebrated to commemorate the slaying of monsters and demons (Like I was in the past)
(PS: Festivals are not always what they seem. Just as Christmas is not about presents, I'm sure Diwali is not all about crackers)
He looked up to see his father standing in the doorway. He came to the boy and hugged him.
"Son, I've realised that Diwali is really not about crackers. You are right, we'll not have any crackers this year. But would you agree that we decorate our abode with diyas, lamps and lights this year? I mean this is a festival of lights and we should pledge to drive away darkness from our home as well as our minds. What say?"
The boy was moved to tears. Needless to say he agreed.
- The End -
[ Here's wishing you all a Happy Diwali. Before you light that cracker think about what Grinch had to say. I'm sure you'll agree too :) ]