Diwali - a celebration or a massacre?

By Hand On The Hip - 10/19/2017

Hello lovelies!

Wishing you a all a very happy and safe Diwali! Diwali is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Indians in India and all over the planet. We clean our homes for weeks together in the hope that Goddess Laxmi pays a visit, wake up extra early that day and enjoy an oil bath, decorate our home with lamps and candles, gulp down a ton of kaju barfis, dance around and twirl in our newest anarkali outfits and end the festival by bursting some crackers. No Diwali is complete without achieving these tasks! I thought of wearing this gorgeous black anarkali I picked up from Biba for this festive season.

 When I was a little kid, "pataki hodiyodu" or bursting crackers was the definition of Deepavali. A bunch of us would gather around with our heavy boxes full of fire crackers and burst them till the wee hours of night. After we ran out of crackers, we would burn the boxes! There was no way we wanted to be home before 11 pm. After those 3 days of non-stop masti with friends, there would be this Diwali hangover that no one enjoyed. Well, what was the lesson learned here? I realized that it's all about togetherness. The fact that I could spend 3 nights straight playing and spending time with my friends, no questions asked, was exciting! Be it Christians or Muslims, the boy who lived in a slum or a mansion, girls or boys - all of us came together as one family and celebrated the festival of lights!

If you have been following me on Instagram, you'll know how I have been against bursting crackers this year. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely enjoy it! But I also hate myself for it. My brother was just telling me how it doesn't make sense to not burst crackers on Diwali since it's a part of our culture and there are other things that are polluting the environment that need to be banned first. I am sure a lot of you agree with him, but let me give my two cents on this topic.

You think that vehicles and factories cause more pollution and that our once-a-year fireworks should not be blamed for air pollution? Well, I agree with the first half of this statement, but in a country of 1.324 billion people, where at least 90% of the folks celebrate Diwali, do you think it makes sense for them to add to the already existing pollution related problems? It might be a matter of 3 days or so, but can you imagine how much of a damage it would cause if billions of people were setting our beloved planet on fire at the same time for days together? Using vehicles is a necessity, but bursting crackers is plain entertainment!

If you are a pet owner, you know how much of a torture it is to those little ones during Diwali. Now you might feel that on various other occasions they have been exposed to a lot of noise, say a dance program in the neighborhood or a party in your apartment. Let me get into the scientific aspect of it. Fireworks often cross 150 decibels. A normal conversation is 60 decibels and a loud concert is 120 decibels. Anything above 80 decibels is considered dangerous for our eardrums, but with ear plugs we are capable of saving our ear drums. What about the dogs? A stray puppy cannot find a pair of ear muffs and save himself from the trauma of fireworks!

Do you guys ride a two wheeler in Bangalore? Well...DON'T! During Diwali, it's a mine field out there! I've been exposed to harmful laxmi bombs being set ablaze inches away from my scooter while riding it. The worst part is, these people are actually educated! Don't you think it's a little insensitive and dangerous to be setting your neighbor on fire in the name of Diwali?

Although I don't fully support the ban on fireworks, I think there could be a workaround! Perhaps find an empty space far away from civilization or something to burst crackers that go really high up in the air and explode? Or maybe if you really want to enjoy the festival, then a couple of sparklers and flower pots should not hurt? I have enjoyed my share of fireworks during my childhood and it would be nice to share it with the next generation. It's definitely my guilty pleasure, but if I cannot do so much for Mother Nature, then what kind of a human being would I be? Do give it a thought, guys! Don't be heartless!

Hand On The Hip

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  1. I think it is okay to burst crackers but within a limit. Saying no to big bombs and the crackers that add too much of smoke would be a more practical idea.

  2. I love Diwali! I understand the concern and it's good to have less smoke in the air for sure!