Red Firecracker Green Firecracker


 Update for week ended 30 September 2011

Chinxua stood on the banks of the Pearl River. Her hands akimbo. She looked over the gushing river and over to the opposite bank where stood her firecracker factory.

The crackers and fireworks were sold all over the northern territory and the business was growing and her products were sailing down Yellow River and beyond to the South. But she was not contemplating the business or the crackling products that went out of her factory, but a more tumultuous crackling feeling within. Chinxua was only sixteen when her father died and left her the legacy. Overnight, she transformed from a demure teenager to a pushy and hardworking boss in a factory that employed many men and a few women. She had to be a man in that world for people to listen to her – age was definitely not on her side to demand respect, and so she chose to wear men’s overhauls and work like them to ensure that her father’s business did not suffer. The most popular output from this  factory was the Green Firecracker and Red Firecracker. These were braided together into long broad ribbons that were rolled into a spool and packed with shiny paper. And these provided the excitement in all festivities – with its constant and consistent crackling lasting for as long as the ribbon spool lasted. Today, Chinxua was a successful businesswoman, but at the crossroads of her life. She felt like the firecrackers – tied together with the red and green – unable to unshackle as she stood at the crossroads of her life.

Ni Bao was the handsome painter she had hired to paint her mansion on the Pearl River and she was charmed by his rustic appeal. But he was the footloose and fancyfree gent of the country. He could not and would not be rooted, and if she took him as her husband, she would have to leave her family fortunes behind for someone else to manage. But his charms were too strong for Chinxua to resist. And on the other hand was Di Hong who was a hard worker and was the support she needed when her father died and she took over the reins of the firecracker factory. He had helped her restore the disruption in the factory on the sudden death of her father – and also ensured that she got her respect from all the workers. He was instrumental in not letting the business sag. But with the entry of Ni Bao, Di Hong felt threatened – threatened of a rival who would take away his lady love – Di Hong had fallen for Chinxua but was not sure whether she knew it or would reciprocate. But he wanted to protect her from what he saw as a vagabond who would lure Chinxua away from her fortunes. He had to protect her and that was when he suggested that they duel to death on the banks of the Pearl River outside the factory. Chinxua would witness the spectacle from across the river.

Chinxua stood on the banks of the Pearl River. Her hands akimbo. She looked over the gushing river and over to the opposite bank where stood her firecracker factory.

The D Street Boyz were in a dilemma. They stood at the edge of D Street – hands akimbo and looked beyond the busy street to their workplace – where they helped put together their cherished SENSEX. The most popular output on the SENSEX was either green or red and at times it was strung together into alternate braids of green, red, green, red. The greens were painted by the hardworking Indian Boyz (Indian companies and Indian economy) while the Reds were the work of the charming but never in one place Foreign Boys (read as FIIs, or foreign influences including US, Italy, Greece, Spains……) Not unlike this week when alternate days of the week were either SENSEX stained red or green (Monday was red, Tuesday was green and so forth till the end of the week that ended red on Friday). However, the somewhat religious D Boyz did read the local papers that spoke of colour coded days of the week for a local ongoing festival. And Friday was the green day. So the end product from the SENSEX for the week ended a little green – all in all a 292 points up – at 16454.

The goddesses are bedecked in gold, silk and other finery. The brightly decorated perforated lamp pots are lit. The dhaakis (special durmmers from the Hooghly Delta) are already practicing their drumming. The rustling silk sarees and long skirts swish their ways into musical sessions at Golus (doll exhibitions in traditional Tamil homes). The all night Jaagrans (night long prayer song sessions) are on in full swing. So if the khechuri bhog (rice and pulse kedgeree) has long queues; the children love the tasty choondals (tempered coconut and steamed grams) and who would not want to break the fast with the chola halwa puri combo (chickpea, semolina sweet served with fried flatbread)? This is the season of Navaratri, navaratra or Norta or Durga Pujo. All to be enjoyed with a little circumambulatory jig around the lamp in a pot!

Have a nice weekend and Cheers…..

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