Diwali- Nostalgia, Hypocrisy and much more
Diwali is the festival of lights . They symbolize the vanishing of dark qualities as the light occupies its space which has a deep philosophical meaning .
In my childhood Diwali meant shopping a month earlier for clothes, yearning for the clothes as they remained locked in the godrej Bureau. A week or two earlier my dad used to buy crackers and then start bursting bijli crackers one by one a week before diwali.
On the day of Diwali my mother used to shake me to senses that it was diwali and I used to reluctantly wake up but once I was wake up there was no turning back. We had the custom of wake up call i.e. who bursts the first set of crackers and wakes the whole street. Then the elders of the house give the new dress after a pious oil bath which fondly is known as Ganga Snanam. Then we wear the new dress and are out to burst the crackers.
At 7 when the effect of flowerpots, The ground chakkars and the cracklers are no longer effective as light sources we return back home and eat the snacks prepared and also the breakfast then we take on with the crackers like 100 wala, red fort crackers.
Ever Since I entered college Diwali meant 4 days with family and the interest in crackers was a exponentially decreasing curve. I wanted to stay at home chat with my parents and go out with my friends by the evening. The competiton for crackers was no longer valid and we had expected the next set of kids to carry our legacy. But that was not to happen.
“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.”
― José Emilio Pacheco, Battles in the Desert & Other Stories
The above quote has become very true these days. Kids have stopped bursting crackers and celebrating Diwali in the spirit of it. I see on the news they talk like old people that lighting diyas would be the perfect diwali and that crackers are harmful for the environment. I also see a sudden concern for pets on those days of diwali.
This is saddening for me from the aspect that many people who sit in AC rooms throughout the year talk about environment. They literally bombard the ozone layer and they feel 2 days of crackers can really cause the environment harm. Now I am not saying that crackers is good for the environment.
Those interested in celebrating diwali should celebrate them with all pomp but do it responsibly. We can choose a common area of bursting crackers instead of scaring the old people, new borns and pets. We get to burst crackers and also not disturb them.
Now there is a whole industry of crackers and people associated with that who need their wage for living. when we boycott crackers indeed we are keeping those poor daily wage laborers away from a meal. We often settle for chinese crackers since they end up cheap. Instead you can buy Indian made brands which considerably safer and little expensive. We need to mitigate our celebrating style rather that killing it.
Have a happy and safe diwali.