Dil Se Diwali!

Diwali

Diwali, the biggest and grandest of all the festivals celebrated across the country is less than a fortnight away and preparations for it are in full swing. This festival, signifying the triumph of good over evil, is as diverse in legends and traditions as it is in the ways of celebration. For the Hindus this day is the homecoming of their much loved but exiled prince Rama to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. The Sikhs celebrate it as the day when their guru Hargobinda came back from Mughal captivity and also as the foundation day of the Golden Temple which is decorated stunningly with lights and diyas. In Bengal, Diwali coincides with Kali Puja where Goddess Kali is worshipped. Many households also worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day.

Something that is common to all of India is the shape the celebrations take on Diwali. For centuries, it has been known as the festival of lights. With diyas, candles and fairy lights adorning every house in the country, it truly is the brightest and most gorgeous of all festivals. However, as beautiful as this tradition of lighting up our houses is, there is another practice that is widely observed on this day that diminishes the happiness of it all for many – that of bursting crackers.

Diwali

All over India, Diwali is marked by bursting millions of crackers and burning effigies of Ravana. These cause air and sound pollution in massive proportions. If the reports from scientists are not convincing enough, we ourselves can see the effects for days afterwards. The thick layer of smog stings our eyes, makes breathing difficult and reduces visibility on the road by several notches. And these are only the immediate and direct ill effects that we can see and feel, not to mention the disastrous result of it on the environment.

Diwali

While some of us celebrate Diwali to the fullest, for many others it is no less than a nightmare. The sound and smoke that the crackers produce is dangerous for patients of asthma and heart diseases. Crackers also cause numerous accidents, claiming many lives and maiming others.

Diwali is all about good over evil but this festival perhaps more than any other, brings out the evil side of our nature in the form of cruelty towards animals. Not only are they terrified by the loud noises, some people deliberately torment them by bursting crackers near them or even tying some to their legs or tails thus injuring them severely.

With the Delhi HC banning crackers this year, here’s hoping that we as a nation are moving towards a more eco-friendly and safer Diwali. Let this be truly a festival of lights, love and happiness for everybody concerned.

Don’t let the light around be dulled by the smoke. Have a happy and safe Diwali!

Mekhla Gan

About Mekhla Gan

"The whole world opened to me when I learned to read" and I have been hooked to it ever since. Suspending my own life, cocooning in someone else's imagination and in the process, living a thousand lives is for me the most exhilarating way of experiencing life. Books are what I turn to in my happy and not so happy times for it is in them that I find the words for what I have known all along..
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