With the Festival of Lights around the corner, the markets are abuzz with endless activities. Everyone has started cleaning out their houses, and are all set to prepare delicious delicacies for this beloved festival. As always, the traditional poojas will take a silent back seat whereas the exchange of gifts and bursting of crackers will take pride of place.
Like every year, television advertisements are asking us to play a safe and cracker-less Diwali. Children are being advised in schools not to burst crackers. This topic finds a place in the adult conversations too. Yet, very few of us are actually going to make it a point to observe prudence in this regard. With the intense competition that goes on in the neighbourhood for the loudest ‘patakas’ no one is going to back out.
Any how, here are a few points that made me want to set aside my cracker craze and still enjoy this beautiful festival, just the same! First, I thought of the Traditional Way. These days many of us run away from the poojas that happen at home. But some amongst us can see the charm in them. The endless temple prayers of love for God, the immaculately dressed figures, are all worth it. There is much to be said about the Traditional Way.
Also, decoration of the house with candles and divas on the night of Diwali, without using electricity, has its own beauty. Though no stars would be seen that night, due to obvious reasons, one can enjoy the simplicity that the festival has to offer.
The second option, my personal favourite is Cracker gazing on the terrace. However confusing that does sound, let me explain to you the concept. Every Diwali night, along with my family, I go and sit on the terrace for hours. So close we feel to the fireworks, and we witness them going off all around us. The beauty of this experience is a joy to behold. Further, by following this step, one ends up enjoying the festival without contributing towards polluting the environment.
Another fun way is Celebrating with someone else. We can go to someone else’s place- like a friend’s or colleague’s and spend the evening watching them burst crackers. You neither buy these pollutants yourself nor play any part in bursting them. All you do is simply enjoy the festival.
Last, but not the least, is the option of Going green. Agreed that this may be an unpopular step amongst us festival lovers but this is one of the ways to help save our environment.
If none of the other steps are being followed by us, then we should simply stop bursting crackers for the love of our environment.
Every year many of us pledge to stop bursting crackers. Some of us succeed in implementing our decisions while the rest simply forget to do so. If the well educated do not take this major step of playing safe on Diwali then no one will. The decision lies with us: to have a safe and cracker-free Diwali. We do not need to put a stop to the excitement that this festival brings to us. Yet, we can spread the message that Diwali is not simply a festival of crackers but is primarily a festival of lights and joy.
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