Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fireworks at the Central Park at 9:30 p.m.

Everybody was walking in one direction. We just followed the people who were ahead of us. I am sure the ones behind us were following us. Somebody up there, all the way up there, must have known where to go. Novice fireworks watchers were still in their cars, making rounds of the block to find a parking place. The most convenient parking places were already taken—long time ago.

We reached the park and stood at the periphery of a very large human circle. We waited with everybody else. People hate to be quiet; they just keep talking. There were a lot of people around us but no one spoke English. You could hear Pilipino, Spanish, Tamil, Punjabi, Bosnian, but no English. Well, I should not say 'no English'; you could occasionally hear a child say something in English, but then the parents would respond back in their native tongue.

I like watching fireworks. I try to lose the sight of people around me, or of the trees reaching out in the sky. People and trees remind me of my surroundings. I want to be totally absorbed in the magic of the fireworks and don't want to be reminded of the real world. Fireworks are so wonderful! A little ball shoots up in the sky; it bursts and there comes a shower of sparkling stars. It is like life itself, ephemeral and full of energy.

At the end of the show they just let out a volley of the crackers. There were so many of them, so much going on you could not concentrate on one part of the sky, you just had to look at the entirety of the show and absorb the general impression. The sky was truly lit by the fireworks. My eyes welled with tears. This is what independence truly means. This is what being free is all about. The recognition of independence should fill you up with joy. Forget about the toil of tomorrow; forget about the worries of your distant future; enjoy today, now, this very moment when the sky is being decorated with fireworks, for you.

I wondered how many people were behind the show--I mean the workers. Must not have been too many. So few people, giving happiness, providing entertainment to so many! I also thought about the many faces of a state--spectacular decorative fireworks for the amusement of some, menacing fireworks in foreign lands for the punishment of the others.

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