Thursday, October 27, 2011

Field Sounds: Deepavali behind Rowell Road

Dolphins on Rowell Road

Dolphin stickers on a wall along Rowell Road

I was sitting at home on Deepavali day, confronted with the noise of a chinese funeral in front, a traffic jam, the general hustle and bustle of Little India on a public holiday, when suddenly I could hear another noise - what sounded like somebody screaming. Alarmed, I went to check out the sound.

Directly behind my kitchen window (which was in a seperate unit across the corridor), there was a crowd of young indian men dancing in the streets. They were really young and practically still boys, so their exciting shouting and singing was so high-pitched that I had initially mistaken it for screaming. There was a drumbeat - but they did not actually have drums, and the sound was that of them crouching in the streets with empty plastic bottles and they were hitting them on the ground rhythmically. Some were singing, some were shouting, and some of them were in the centre, dancing wildly and showing off their dance moves. It was amazing that they managed to invent an whole impromptu dance party with just an empty backstreet and a few plastic bottles.

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