Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Deepavali!

It is the longest long weekend here with holiday on Friday for Kannada Rajyotsava on November 1st followed by Diwali which luckily happens to fall on a weekend this year… four days off for most establishments!! What more could you ask for …during the biggest festival of India - Diwali or Deepavali as it’s known in the South. This year, it was Diwali sans fire crackers partly due to bereavement in the family and partly due to reluctance on the part of the kids in our family. I guess more and more kids are saying no to bursting crackers for various reasons – environment, protest against child labour, animal rights, etc. Though we had our own reasons for refraining from bursting crackers, nevertheless our Diwali celebration did have its usual trappings like tidying up the house the previous day, ushering the first day of Diwali with a traditional oil bath, lighting lamps in the evenings, family reunions and feasts! Well, whatever may be the reason, I feel there is much more to Diwali than bursting crackers! Diwali is the festival of lights and need not be the festival of noise..isn’t it?

This week’s Hindu Children’s supplement was a Diwali special and so I read the story titled " For Sparkling Diwali" by Fabiola Jacob. Akshay woke up with a start and was surprised that his neighbours had already begun bursting atom bombs when Diwali hadn't dawned yet! Akshay was keen on contributing his share with his umpteen boxes of fire crackers his dad had bought him. But before he could do that, he realised that there was something amiss today as his pup Spot hadn't woken him up. He searched all over the house, in the car park, garden but Spot was nowhere in sight! Akshay then started looking around the neighborhood by which time, the sound of crackers reached such a crescendo that he could hear his own voice and panic had set in! What if Spot could not be found and Akshay couldn't imagine life without Spot! It was dawn break but the streets looked like a war zone with all the smoke and crackers! When he made enquiries at the near by tea stall, he was pointed to the storm water drain and when bent down to look, he saw Spot wet and shivering with fright and too scared to come out! Relieved, he took Spot home and gave him a bath before getting ready for Diwali festivities. This is when a thought struck him - " what if Diwali was quiet and elegant with Diyas and sparklers minus the noise! " Diwali without noise will sure be easy on his grandpa,a heart patient who is forced to wear ear plugs during Diwali!  So notwithstanding the fact that he may be teased by the neighborhood boys, he asked for all his noise making crackers to be exchanged for sparklers instead, as he wanted Diwali to be fun and pleasurable for everyone, including Grandpa and Spot! Here's hoping that more and more people resort to celebrating an all inclusive Diwali meant for everyone! Have a happy and a safe Diwali everyone!

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