On my way home from my grandmom's, the sun had set and every window glittered with twinkly lights of every size and colour, beautiful paper lanterns swaying in the breeze. Even the slummier areas had something, a huge lantern over the highway, a haphazard sprinkling of bulbs. The chawls overlooking the highway were uniform, the same bright paper lantern in every balcony. Three chawls in a row, each lit in a different colour.
The last day of Diwali was rather quiet. Occasionally you'd hear a bang, and then a shiny green pustule would streak into the sky and explode in a shower of sparks.
Not so much after I got back to Matunga. My head throbbed as I unpacked and ate. Outside my window, down the lane, the noise was continuous. And hellishly irritating.
Furious, I fell asleep. Today morning as I walked down that same lane, so silent now, a thousand little bits of paper were the only evidence of last night's pyrotechnical play.