World Peace

My favourite quote from snortin’ Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality” is when she is being interviewed at a beauty pageant and is asked what is the most important thing that society needs. “Why that would be harsher punishment of parole violators, Stan..(followed by stunned silence) and world peace.”

This year, the theme of the Karol Bagh Durga Puja Pandal is world peace. Even the sanctification of Mother Theresa gets a look-in. The recurring motif is a white umbrella. They are everywhere. On the outside walls, on the ceiling, over the art work, around the stage.



These Durga idols were produced at the “factory” beside the crumbling cinema in Chittaranjan Park, featured in a previous blog. The lighting kept changing from green to pink and purple.


The music was an Indian version of chill-out, lounge pop. Not very adventurous and rather a strange choice for a religious festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, I thought.

These men are the drummers, known as Dhaakis.

Karol Bagh is very much a commercial district, where you can get dodgy electronics, knock off trainers and luggage which comes with a year’s guarantee. When we went back to our vehicle, I saw it was parked beside the Armpit Palace Hotel* and I was reminded of the siSwati word “makwapenyi” – roll on, fitting under your armpit, a way of referring to your sexual partner.

Look at the blurred caption behind the three boys on a motor scooter – Victory of Good over Evil. And the driver isn’t even looking where he’s going.


* It was the Arpit Palace Hotel, mea culpa.

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