Wednesday, October 22, 2014

For a Quiet Diwali........

The biggest festival amongst Hindus, Diwali or Deepavali is here! While there is no stopping for the annual festivities, family traditions or Diwali Dhamaka sales and offers, this Diwali has seen many people vowing for a greener and cleaner Diwali. With the recent spate of fire accidents in many parts of India owing to fire crackers, an appeal has been made in public interest by various Government and non-government agencies including schools to observe a cracker free Diwali due to ensuing the air and noise pollution and solid waste generated from bursting any kind of fire crackers. Personally, while we’ve never been big fans of noise causing crackers and our Diwali evenings was restricted to lighting the relatively noiseless sparklers, flowerpots and earth twisters, but this time we tried to do away with those too! Though our eight year old, (who has always had his ear plugs on every Diwali) was not gung-ho about the idea initially, we are on Day 1 and it’s been so far so good! Believe me, it’s not just us but many kids on our street are rooting for a quieter Diwali ….may be it’s only a matter of time for the whole neighbourhood to turn our biggest festival into our biggest pro-environment endeavour! Well…think about it….. Diwali evenings are probably best meant for other ways of celebration ..…like may be revisiting the long forgotten bhajans (Abhay is wincing!) or may be catching the latest Bollywood Diwali release with friends and family…..(Abhay is nodding rigorously!)….other than causing noise and pollution! So here’s wishing everyone a cracker-free yet a dazzling Diwali!  

As much as I wanted to read “Diwali gift” by Shwetha Chopra and Shuchi Mehta, I couldn’t lay my hands on a copy just in time for my Diwali post and found the pricing of the hardback a little too steep going by Indian standards. Since we are on the topic of going green this Diwali, I am taking the liberty of sharing an inpsiring true story found in the October issue of children’s magazine, Highlights Champs, in its Goofus and Gallant section.  A Quiet Diwali" by Ashish Jain. This is a story of the 14 year old twins in Chindwada, Madhya Pradesh,… Yash and Yashika Jain who are asked to address their school on the eve of Diwali. The teenage twins describe their  life changing experience of having visited the burn ward of a local hospital during the previous Diwali and were so moved that they jointly decide to boycott crackers once and for all. From then the children have been travelling around Chindwada spreading the message of a quiet and a cracker free Diwali! Just as they finished their address, the teacher asks the students as to how many of the students  plan to celebrate Diwali without crackers …..and you can only imagine what the response was! So are you and your little one ready for a quiet Diwali??   

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