Our India has many religions & traditions and not to forget the festivals; and as soon we talk of festivals, the word Diwali springs up. But there is a “but” in enjoying Diwali. Do you know why? Because I do not see the spirit of Diwali as it used to be. What do I mean? Let me explain.
Three years back, when I was 8 years old, we friends were discussing what we will be doing on the auspicious day of Diwali. One of my friend said, “I will go to the temple with all my cousins and family and then go to a restaurant to have dinner, then I will come back home late at night and leave for my village”. Another friend said, “I will make rangoli and burst lots of crackers”. When it was my turn I said, “I will help my mother in the puja preparations and will make lots of sweets too, then we will go and visit all my relatives and you know what, I am not going to burst any crackers this Diwali and onwards. I don’t want to harm Mother Nature”.
Then I asked my friends, “Will you too not burst crackers? At the mention of it, my both friends’ eyes plopped out, “what? Are you crazy, really?” They asked all kinds of questions to me-“Will you be even able to resist it?” asked my friend. I said, “Yes!” I was confident I could. When they saw me that confident one of them said, “We are not going to miss such an opportunity yaar! You do what you want but we are going to burst crackers. A lot of them. My father has already bought them.”
The other friend said nothing and just kept quiet. After playing for a while, when heading home in the lift she softly asked me, “You are not joking, are you?” I just said no, walked off to my home and went to sleep peacefully.
I am not bursting crackers for three years in a row. So you saw what I meant. But are the festivals destroying us or are we destroying their meaning? I read that in old times people used to make their own sweets, and there was no plastic packaging, everyone used to make their own rangoli powder with natural things and there was no toxic or chemical rangoli powders. They used lamps to light up the whole city and did not use artificial lamps and they did not burst crackers too, they just danced and sang and prayed. Above all they spent quality time with their family and friends. But today all people buy sweets and rangoli powder at the market. They use artificial lighting. And burst crackers too. They know all the disadvantages, but yet they choose to burst crackers. They know the crackers emit harmful gases; they could hurt somebody, create noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution & land pollution too.
After Diwali when I go to the playground, I see lots of plastic bags and boxes and packaging lying all around and no one bothers to pick them up until the garbage man comes and takes them away. We must spread awareness and celebrate a pollution free Diwali every year. We all are aware of the effects of pollution. Then why forget it on Diwali? We should not burst crackers and litter around. And keep our environment a happy and healthy one. As Gandhi Ji said, “Be the Change You Want to see in the World”. And we will be that change!