Inflation is killing India nowadays. Everything is at least twice as expensive as the usual price. It was Diwali yesterday but it didn’t fell like the Diwali five or six years ago. Usually people like to buy lots of crackers, buy new clothes, bring something new to their homes but this year everything was so… I think most of the people just stayed at home, cooked food, decorated their home and that’s all. Very few people fired crackers. I believe that it is good for the atmosphere if there are fewer crackers, but there was still something missing.
A lot of people didn’t buy crackers because it was too expensive this year. Usually all the chemicals that are used to make crackers come from China where they are cheap. But this year the Chinese used all the chemicals for the Olympics and delayed supplying them to India. So Indian factories had to buy the chemicals in India which was expensive for them. This whole thing affected pricing of crackers a lot and made it at least two times more expensive.
One of the biggest reason behind people not firing many crackers is that everything is so expensive in India nowadays. People have a hard time, so they prefer to arrange their living needs first. I bought tomatoes and it cost me Rs. 50 per kilo. It was never ever expensive like this before. Uncle Udo says that tomato costs Rs. 70-80 per kilo in Germany. So there is not much difference in the price but there is a huge difference in the income of the people.
I know that foreigners spend more money than us on agriculture, so it must be expensive there. But why it is so expensive here? I asked a lot of people how did their Diwali went and most of them said that it was not good because of inflation. I don’t know how long will it be like this, but if it stays the same way for a long time then a lot of middle class people will become poor again for sure.
It was Diwali yesterday and I enjoyed it a lot. I had invited a few couchsurfers to celebrate Diwali with me. I invited two US students and two British travelers. They came to my home around 6 o’clock and were just sharing their travel experiences of India. Later uncle Udo also joined us. My mother did puja first and then we decorated the whole house with candles. Usually I don’t buy or fire crackers, but this year I had lots of crackers because a few of my friends had bought some.
We went on the roof and fired crackers. It was first time in the last fifteen years that I fired crackers. I don’t like this because it damages the atmosphere. The smoke could be easily felt in the atmosphere during Diwali which I don’t like. I better like to decorate my home with candles, have good food, invite people over dinner etc… A lot of people in Varanasi gamble during Diwali night. I had also gambled last year at Bunti’s family place for the first time in my life. They had invited me this year also but I could not go.
Diwali is a very important festival for Aghoris. They do some special puja at the funeral place in the night between 12 and 1. I really wanted to see it but I again I missed it this year because the guy who was supposed to come with me didn’t call me. I was just waiting for him, and finally it was over 1 o’ clock so I couldn’t go. After firing crackers we had dinner. We had lots of good food, sweets, it was so nice last night. I really enjoyed it.
I had heard a lot about threats for foreign girls in Varanasi after it gets dark, but I never thought it was true. I have seen all the guide books telling that foreign girls should not wander alone in Beanres after it is dark. I always thought that it was wrong information provided by guide books. Abbie and Emily, the US students, were worried about going alone to their guest house. They wanted me to come with them. I went with them and I realized that guide books were true.
People were just commenting on these foreign girls. Somebody brought crackers and wanted them to fire them. Somebody was saying that they were so beautiful, somebody wanted to harrash them… It was overwhelming. I never knew that these things happen in Varanasi also. Maybe it happens in the downtown area only, because I have never ever heard of such a thing happening around Assi neighborhood. They were stopped by five-six people. Finally they reached their guest house and I came back home.