A very long one, for those who have the patience to understand the hypocrisy of us, the current generation! For we are not responsible else where in the name of pollution, but only on a Deepavali day!
It's Deepavali, probably the first in my life that we miss being with the rest of the family since my birth. While those are mixed emotions which am not penning down now but when I look back and compare at the festivity when I was young and what it is now, I felt in the name of technology and progress we are taking away a lot of fun that my generation had when we kids.
I vividly remember the build up to Deepavali each year. Even 6 or 8 weeks earlier to that we will start thinking about new dresses! Yes those were days when we got dresses for festivals and special occasions and not necessarily because we can afford to buy. In our days we used to be content with those dresses for the whole of the year and would use it extra carefully to ensure that they do not get worn out or seen as often as possible. These days, we buy stuff just because we can afford. Not necessarily clothing's, but anything!
Then the dreams of various crackers. We would have made up our mind on what we would want and would have built a virtual list of sorts to take it to our parents for funding.
Then comes the last 4 weeks where everything in the town would go bizarre. All of sudden discounts, shops really filled up, friends checking on whether we started shopping, families recommending good shops etc.,. Shopping for clothes used to be a special occasion by itself. I do remember those days when we had done with shopping earlier, I used to try my new clothes almost every single day or at least fondly have a look at it.
Then the last 2 days, Crackers! This is where almost of our generation would have learnt the art of bargain and negotiations. Albeit with our respective Dads. Often there would be push backs either on costs or on security, but we would somehow be able to reach a truce between ourselves and then starts the boasting around! The local friends circle whenever we get together for weekend cricket or evening chats, all of the talks would be around the crackers and some will say he got this much and I would counter it with something. This was more like building our own self esteem!
Meanwhile, when the children would be working on the clothes and crackers, the elders would be checking on the organizing the entire event. There goes the formal invites in the face of respect to the daughters' families and where appropriate clothes for them as well. Then comes the planning for sweets where a cook (who will be in greater demand) and bring his team home and prepare homemade sweets not just for the family, but for friends and acquaintances. I still have the image of our cook who would make sweets for 2 long days with his team and how we were prohibited from tasting those sweets until it was all approved! All that was prepared would be boxed and would go rounds to friends and the members of the company. We would also start receiving a lot of sweets from our friends and families as well. No restrictions whatsoever on what needs to be ate. I know my dad and uncle used to print greeting cards and post it to friends!
Then the D-Day where almost a 3 day break would be in and we would be waiting for the entire cousin set to arrive and the eve of Deepavali would be just crackers, crackers and crackers. We would normally go to bed around 11:00 in the night and wake up as early as possible to ensure that we were the firsts to start firing crackers on that day. But we would do so only with a lot of discipline. We will have an oil batch, then offer prayers to God and then start the fire works as early as 4:00 AM in the morning. As much as it would be fun, it was a competition as well as in, for the noise levels, the dust on the streets and later on in the night the sky fire works! It was such a joyous moment.
Coming back to reality, I think we are robbing these joys from this generation and the following ones. There is no excitement whatsoever for these kids because they have everything that they need and they treat this day as another holiday. Most of us are glued to the TV sets; all greetings are on FB/WhasApp. Furthermore, with whatever new found wisdom about pollution, we are asking for an e-Deepavali I believe. I don't know what it means but literally no crackers! While pollution is a larger problem and for all I know when I drive once between Chennai to Erode I pollute more than what I did in my Deepavali day, or carbon emissions from industries or an ozone penetrating aircraft pollution or for that matter New Year celebrations even within India or IPL start and closing ceremonies we burn crackers. And we ask these kids to stop firing crackers in the name of pollution!
I know crackers were not what Deepavali is all about. It is festival of lights! Got it!! But in the name of responsibility, we are robbing the excitement, the joy from these kids. This is why I call it hypocrisy!!!
I know this could potentially be counter argued but the more mature and people with more sense of responsibility than me, but I do stand by what I say. We should fire crackers.
I know this could potentially be misconstrued as a Hindu thing by the more secular folks, but I do stand by what I say. We should fire crackers.
When I look at my nieces and nephews, there is no excitement. They deserve this excitement for Deepavali to be much more colourful than it is these days!
For those who fire crackers! Have a safe and Happy Deepavali! For those of you who all celebrating an e-Deepavali, Happy Deepavali. Think about firing crackers please! It is so much Fun.
Happy Deepavali Folks!