Friday, November 9, 2007

Deepavali or Diwali, The Festival of Lights

Deepavali or the modernized name Diwali, is the festival celebrated as homecoming of Lord Ram from his 14 yrs of exile following hid step mother Kekeyi’s wish. The Festival is marked as a grand festival and is celebrated for 5 days in a row. Houses are decorated and Diyas, Candles and other sources of lights are used to decorate the exteriors of the house (interiors as well).

For the five days, one can hear the sounds of crackers and it would not be exaggerating statement to make that in these five days, the amount of crackers that are burst may be atleast double than the amount of crackers that people burst year round. I guess I can compare the amount of crackers burst in India in just these 5 days to the amount of crackers that would be burst over the world in the year round.

But am I trying to boast about the scenario, NO, NOT AT ALL. Though I used to love to burst crackers a lot and being a little dare devil, used to try various stunts and used to burst quite a good amount of crackers in most dangerous ways. But then with time, I don’t know why my enthusiasm just faded out. I stopped enjoying bursting of crackers and the sound. NO, NOT because of the reasons like Noise or Sound Pollutions (though I am an environmentalist) as there are other bigger factors chipping in to the noise and sound pollution. Moreover one can do better than harming the religious feelings and the fun associated, as during Diwali, people from all the sects join in mind even barrier of religion also diminishes.

So, one must be thinking what is it that I happened to move away from a festival and the act of bursting crackers. It is one of the things that I have tried to establish over years and have not been able to ascertain why?

I guess one of the reasons had been the incidents during the college days where we all hostellers used to chip in and buy crackers and burst them in the Hostel compound. There we never used to think of the amount of damage that we used to cause to the Hostel property, but guess when started recounting those days, started feeling guilty for the financial loss college used to suffer each year due to us.

Another reason, and the more appropriate reason one I would say could be the reason of seeing dark houses of the poor and roadside dwellers. I have seen their kids searching the pile of burnt cracker to find any live cracker that they can burn and enjoy. Have witnessed them standing at a distance and clapping when the cracker burst. I have seen them getting happy when others enjoy, but at the same time have seen the smile to be SAD and Hurting as they themselves can not afford to do it. They have to rely on others, and these others just shun them away.

I too often feel that the second reason had been more of the reason that impacted me and I turned out to be a silent person from the Diwali devil (Yeah the Dare Devil) I was J.

From the time I turned from dare devil to silent guy, I love to do another silent act and that is select a house of those poor once and just go in the night to put Diyas / Candles outside the door, light them and vanish so that they can’t notice who did it. I prefer to light their doorway as for the reason of may be believing in the myth that Goddess Laxmi might see that light and enter their house for fortunes J…Ha ha yeah silly me, but then it puts up that brightness on their face when I happen to see them the next morning J. Yeah one more thing that I don’t forget is to Leave a packet of sweets and few crackers for their children and them. I do that, but still I do not donate money cause, I prefer to see them smiling the genuine smile than the SAD one. The genuine smile with which they thank the unknown to have shared the Festivities with them.

Yes it gives me immense pleasure to see that smile. In case you do not agree to me, well try it once. Try putting just 1% of the amount of crackers you burst in this cause and let me know whether you liked that smile more or is it when you burst the crackers?

I guess this 1% is not much to ask for and hence we all can put that much effort to select one such house and then try to get the feel of the smile.

But before signing off I would Request You NOT TO DONATE IN CASH to the street children as they DO NOT get to spend that for themselves. PLEASE NO CASH DONATIONS, just Lit a Diya / Candle at the Doorstep of a dark house and leave a packet of sweets, that would be making their Diwali better J


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