Monday, November 05, 2007

remember, remember the fifth of november

Last year on this day, Hubby & I were getting ready to watch V for Vendetta, a movie incidentally about the 5th of November. If you haven't watched it, I suggest today's as good a day as any. It's one of my favourite movies & on this particular day last year, it was all a coincidence really. We had some idea of what it was about but not the fact that it was about Guy Fawkes Day. I remember reading about Guy Fawkes as a child, fascinated with the fact that they'd in indulge a massive bonfire & burn a Guy Fawkes dummy. It reminded me of something similar, though set on a different day!

Growing up in Bombay, I lived in a neighbourhood of nine apartment buildings, with an apparent baby boom in the works during those days (must have been at least a 100 of us children at the time). And so because there were so many of us kids of varying ages, holidays & festivals of all religions were celebrated communally with much much fanfare. In India there are many festivals, as the government recognises quite a few religions which results in an abundance of public holidays. One of my favourites was New Years' Eve, where we children (under strict supervision) were able to partake in the largest bonfire every year & set atop it Old Father Time in the form of a dummy. Now I never knew where the dummies came from but I assume someone in the 'colony' would be kind enough to make it for us year after year. Old Father Time would crumple up in a blaze right before our very eyes, signalling in the New Year. The night also concluded with each of us receiving a party bag, filled with candies & mini toys. Ahh the memories! And while we'd get to stand around & watch the wood snap crackle & pop, we were hypnotised, for it was not often would we get to play with fire (literally speaking). Besides, what child can resist the lure of a flame. I know Hubby can relate - as a kid, he once set his carpet on fire. It was a small fire & easily doused when he realised what he'd done. However, explaining the burnt hole in the carpet to his parents when they got home was no easy feat. Kids & fire, especially bonfires, are like a moths to a flame.

And so! To my AN Colony friends...do ye remember those days? Thanks to the older guys for making it fun...You know who you are!

Guy Fawkes Day is still celebrated here in Bermuda. Not surprising, considering it's still a British Territory. I'm sure for many Bermudians, it's a chance to relive childhood memories & also to be able to pass the torch, so to speak, to their children. I'm sure I will get a whiff of one or two bonfires around the neighbourhood & I hope to scout the area for some photographic opportunities.


And last but not least, Guy Fawkes Day in our house is also known as Dad's birthday! My dad, of course!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! Hope it's a fiery one!

6 comments:

educatedunemployed said...

Oh wow, you just brought back such awesome memories. I have been privy to Guy fawkes day in UK and some of the best fire works ever today.

Happy Birthday to you dad. :)

G said...

I love how in a tiny space of 30 mi x 5 mi, Bombay packs so many different esoteric traditions.

You spelled my blog name wrong, by the way!

G

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

EU, I've been swimming in nostalgia since I wrote the post. How lucky we were!

G, Damn it! I must have been typing too fast. You're quite into city dimensions aren't you...judging from this comment & your recent post. Honesly I had never even looked at a map of Bombay until last year. Before that I had no idea where Santazcruz was in relation to Andheri, in relation to Borivili...(I'm all sorted out now though).

G said...

No worries. Actually, I lived there for 8 years but never realized how tiny Bombay is until I moved to the US and someone from Kolkata pointed it out!

G

J Starling said...

There used to be a really big Guy Fawkes Day thing up at Dockyard. You know the big field when you go in? A big bonfire was set up, there was foodstalls, and fireworks. Great memories from all that. Never really sure why it was stopped. We also once had indoor fireworks but those were banned a while ago. I remember setting those off in the fireplace. Sweet.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

JS: I think I remember reading in the paper that fireworks stopped due to some kids taking things too far. My landlady's bf confirmed that too...Pity really. Fireworks rock when you're a kid...Thanks for the comment!