Wendigo generously loaned me her DVD of “The Incredibles” to watch while she went for a party, and I was quite happy with the movie babysitting me. Suddenly I heard phut phut outside and the realizations that:
- it was Guy Fawkes Day
- these fireworks meant business
- I could pause the movie
hit me all together. I grabbed my jacket and my bag and made a dash through a maze of corridors, down the elevator, and out of the gate to see the most amazing fireworks going off behind a bunch of trees. I ran down to the river, and sure enough, the view was fantabulous! Huge, no… HUGE spectacular bursts of colour in the sky - perfectly co-ordinated – arose from either side of the Millennium Bridge and lit up the sky. I looked to the bridge to see if I could sneak up there for the best view possible, but then they started setting off fireworks from the bridge itself! It was too gorgeous for language to capture. The river lit up in response and for fifteen minutes, the South Bank at the foot of the Millennium Bridge was the best place to be in the whole universe!
At the end of these fifteen minutes, there was thunderous applause from the crowd, and little children kept yelling for more. I smiled, because according to reports by the battered party, three-year-old Inky used to sit on her Daddy’s shoulder and kick his chest and clap “Shaabaash Bhaiyya Shaabaash!” at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony fireworks at India Gate. There can never be too many fireworks!
I walked back to the hostel, and saw two ladies all dressed up brushing their hair one last time before they went to let the fireworks see them. “Oho! Khatam ho gaya?” they brushed, disappointed. Seeing them all dressed up, I realized I had forgotten to put on my pants! But then I looked, and the pants were very much there, they were just hopelessly ineffective in the cold. Who cares, I am warm now, and have finished watching “The Incredibles”, and random fireworks are still going on outside, but I have seen heaven and do not wish to ruin the memory of the sight.
To all the taxpayers of the United Kingdom, my gracious thanks. To the pyro-technicians, “Shabaash Bhaiyya Shabaash!”