“What plans for Diwali?” she asked.
“Not parting with my headphones for a second,” I replied.
“How dare you insult our festival? Go to Pakistan!”
Diwali is here, it’s knocking on the door and it’s a loud knock. Just last night I was having dinner when a cracker went off outside and the food slipped from my hand and fell on the floor. That moment made me realize the festival of lights which has nearly become a festivity of fire-crackers has arrived. Lord Ram was returning home and we would be welcoming him by tying crackers on a dogs tail or by throwing it at the not so friendly neighbor’s house.
This is my first Diwali in North India and to say that I’m nervous would be making light-work of what has become a noisy festival. Nervous that the food will slip from my hand more than once. Worried that I might be being this new neighbor in the hood (I did scold the kids for pressing the doorbell and running away). But I’ve decided, I won’t even be talking about the pollution Diwali causes because many would be ready to post this picture as a reply.
This is like someone saying, ‘for all these years you slept face down on the pillow facing no problem but just for a few seconds I pressed it against your face and you kicked me in the gut. Go outside India, alien!’
Yes, industries and vehicles cause pollution but industries and vehicles are a necessity in today’s world. Bursting crackers isn’t. Lord Ram won’t return back to Lanka if he doesn’t hear a few explosions. He won’t be complaining to Laxman saying, “Bro, where’s the party at?”And just think, wouldn’t Lord Ram be happy if he could actually see the roads instead of thick black smoke everywhere?
Plus industries and vehicles have rules and norms that they need to follow. The only rule followed during Diwali is to run away the moment you light a cracker and wait a few minutes for it to burst.
I might be coming across as a Diwali hater, but trust me, I am not. I like this festival of lights. This is the only time of the year when cleaning the house doesn’t feel like an irksome task.Plus it’s a festival of lights so the whole town glows ten times brighter with its incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. And the house is filled with the laughter of people we love. Ah! What’s there not to love about this festival? So I am not a Diwali hater, cracker hater maybe, but certainly not a Diwali hater.
So lets jump to the point directly after 441 words of blabber.
Should crackers be banned?
If I were given a power to ban one thing in this country, I’d undoubtedly ban this season of Big Boss. But if I were given the power to ban two things, the second would be the next season of Big Boss.
Here’s why I’d refrain from banning crackers
Diwali is a celebration and we can’t tell people how they should celebrate their festival. Similarly, we can’t tell people what to eat. We can surely express our grievances towards their way of living and they have all power in the world to ignore our concerns like we ignored the male cast of the movie ‘Hate Story’. It is annoying, of course, when someone shares their opinion against our beliefs but it is fine, as long as they are not imposing it on you.
So I won’t be going around forcing people to stop using crackers but, will instead submit my two cents that I find worth thinking about this Diwali.
Crackers, how to burst them and how not to:
Road: Okay, but be sure that it’s deserted.
Inside your house: Not Okay.
Inside your neighbor’s house: Certainly not okay.
A Dog’s tail: I double dare you.
One packet: Good.
Two packets: Fine.
Three packets: Okay.
Four packets: You may want to stop there.
Five packets: Okay, now you can stop.
A truckload: That’s when you are branded a terrorist.
Precautions to follow while bursting a cracker
- Don’t light the crackers in your hands. Guys, who know the pleasures a hand can offer, you don’t want to lose it. Guys, who are too young to know about the pleasures a hand can offer, trust me, you don’t want to lose it.
- If you are trying to launch a rocket, make sure the launch pad (beer bottle) is perfectly vertical. No matter how khadus the neighbor is, you don’t want a rocket lodged inside his nose; you have to be real evil to want that (I just hope the kids I scolded aren’t that evil).
- Young kids should actually not be allowed to burst crackers but if they are given a bomb or two, they should be burst under the watchful eyes of the adults.
Alternatives to crackers
- A nice family dinner is the first thing that pops in my head. It’s my fourth Diwali away from home and I can give anything to sit around the dining table with my family and eat some gundruk-bhaat(for those who don’t know what gundruk is, trust me you don’t want to know). Festivals are a great time to connect with the family; lets make full use of it.
- For people away from their families, spend time with your friends. Grab a drink with them, talk, laugh, enjoy the fireworks outside and make it memorable.
- For loners, go outside and make friends and do the aforementioned with them
I have made some nearly perfect plans come the Diwali eve. I shall stay indoors and listen to music all night long in my headphones. I have it in me to tolerate a night of noise and pollution. Hope you have it in you to tolerate my one, small article.