Life Goes On

The roads were uncharacteristically clear and free of traffic. Officers at checkpoints peered into our SUV with flashlights. But people also laughed, danced and played cards tonight in Delhi as Diwali festivities went on, hours after the bombings.

As I write this, it is 5 a.m. and I have just gotten back from two parties, which gives you a sense of the kind of affairs these were. Upper-class Delhi-ites throw Diwali parties where flickering candles compete with glittering saris, where drinking and gambling goes on into the wee hours, and dinner gets served around 1 a.m. (if you're lucky).

To be sure, the bombings came up in conversation with almost everyone, and several people likened the day's events to the London bombings. A few would-be revelers heeded the government's warning to stay home.

But one host remarked to me that she just didn't feel right canceling something commemorating one of the most important days on the Hindu calendar. "Life must go on," she said. "It's just a matter of destiny."

With only two shopping days left until Diwali (yes, it shares a commercialism here akin to Christmas in the States) and Eid -- another big gift-giving holiday here -- also coming up soon, a lot of people pondered whether they should venture out to markets tomorrow. Having done no shopping for anybody, I'm in the same quandary.

By S. Mitra Kalita |  October 29, 2005; 7:55 PM ET  | Category:  In Delhi
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