The smoke has settled. The noise is dead too. By this, I mean nobody is bursting firecrackers nor feeling jubilant about not getting burned in the process. All in all, Diwali is no more. At least for now. Just two nights ago, I wished folks in my neighborhood took a break and while they were at it, donated their ammunition of firecrackers to Army or something.
Yeah, I must be sounding like a party pooper here with an anti-festival stand but that’s only half of the truth. What I am versus are these morons who sadly belong to the very same species I come from. Now that’s not to surmise that I’m wise et al but considering the present situation, I won’t give into invisible peer pressure and create unnecessary din.
Early Stone Age men who discovered fire must have been Hindus. Perhaps that could have explained our infatuation with firecrackers. Or maybe not. Anyway, show me one person who enjoys the noise these firecrackers produce. Just one person. You can’t, can you? Well, those who fired crackers are the only ones who derive sadistic pleasure from them while the bystanders’ eardrums wish the commotion end as quickly as possible. This is the other half of the truth I was referring to earlier. The government has already levied a noise curfew but not everyone adheres to it and to top that, the power-that-be hardly reacts to such disobedience.
You see, it’s quite interesting to note that Diwali is a festival of lights, not chemicals. I’m pretty sure no one exploded loud irritating bangers when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya crooning ♫ ♪I’m coming Ommmmmmmm♫ ♪ a la Ozzy Osbourne! But what we witness today is a chaotic aberration of how things should have been but are somehow distorted by overt commercialization of an event. Correct me if I’m wrong but Diwali should be more of diyas, sweets, lanterns, rangolis, social gatherings and noiseless-firecrackers-bursting-in-the-sky, if you will. But that obviously ain’t the case.
Though it’s not specifically a Hindu festival, so to speak, considering the fact that Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs celebrate it too according to their assorted legends, the diyas are nonetheless missing in numbers in urban India. Diwali has become an Indian festival celebrated with made-in-China lanterns. Blame it on globalization. Of course, everyone have their own way of celebrating as well as celeberating and one can’t superimpose their beliefs on others. End of argument.
I love Diwali too as millions out there do. Especially when I’m not wondering how Sri Lankans feel about this hyped festival of ours. My mind may not comply with religious byproducts but my tongue holds nothing against delicious festive food. I have a soft corner in my mouth for sweets. My decaying sweet teeth can vouch for that! But you get sick of sweets after a while. This is how it works – you crave Diwali sweets; you devour 'em; you get bored; you run out of 'me; and then you miss 'em. Tada. Diwali has ended. You know the drill.
I also like to see my house spick and span though (unlike my amma) I resent the painstaking procedure called cleaning. Just to put things into better perspective, the reason why I hate firecrackers so much is I can’t possibly make more noise than they do. And for the record, in an internet-less parallel universe, each one of us must be busy participating in criminal activities like bursting firecrackers be it Diwali or not.