fourth of july

In the waning light of dusk, the lake looked beautiful. So calm and serene. A family of ducks ever so slowly gliding on the glassy surface and the houses across the lake reflecting like in a mirror. It all looked Picture perfect !

Slowly the night started falling and darkness spread. For the first time I noticed there was no light in those houses. There were a couple at the end of the long row of these that had the light coming out of their windows but the rest were all standing there like shadows of a long forgotten past.

We all were hanging out in the patio, waiting for the first burst and boom of fireworks. But nothing was happening to stir the silent air. Suddenly dada remembered buying some sparklers for the girls to have their own fireworks on July 4th. Between peals of laughter and excitement our seven years old and a soon to be five started having fun. Someone on the other side of the lake saw this and with a flash light started sending light beams across the lake to where we were sitting. No fireworks yet.

My younger son, a true Virgo, had told me that because of weak economy the Government has decided not to have fireworks on the 4th of July. But I never thought that this most important holiday would really go down without illuminating the sky and that at every burst of colorful rosettes, the thunderous applause and approval of the onlookers would not be there to further exhilarate your heart.

This not only robbed the man in the street, of simple fun and a firm reminder of being a part of a powerful country he calls home but it also put some fear, some insecurity in his heart. I agree with my son  that this was a most damaging idea. When the government starts cutting corners, it sends negative messages.

Some hundred years ago the poet Sa’di said

chunan qahat saale shud andar Damishq
keh yaraan framush kardand ishq

Which means –

the famine hit Damishq (Damascus) so hard and so bad
that the good people even forgot love

But I would not end it on a sad note because as we were getting ready to go inside the house, suddenly there was a crack and a thunder and a cascade of stars of all the colors of a rainbow were falling from the sky.

Later when my beautiful granddaughters were getting ready for bed they had smiles all over their cupid faces.

They were safe in a country they call their home.

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