“Give me that big one.”
“How much for this one?”
“How far does that rocket go?”
“Let’s buy this big bomb.”
What I am describing here is a typical scene of a shop in India selling Firecrackers for the Festival of Diwali.Its quite a sight out there.Hoards of people tussling,trying to outdo each other in buying the most firecrackers.
Now,I don’t think that the non-Indians will be knowing about this but I am sure the Indians know what I am talking about.
Just to get you all in the loop,here’s the story behind Diwali.Diwali began as a very simple festival,celebrated to welcome the return of the Hindu God Ram from his 14 year exile.People lit candles and lamps around their houses and across the streets.Wonderful it must have been.
Now lets fast-forward to today and the festival has totally metamorphosed.So much for the Candles and the lamps.All people are interested in today is to flaunt how many crackers can they burn.Buying the biggest possible ones.The 2000 chain.The 3000 chain.As if it was some status symbol.
Well…Hello people.Last time I checked,there was this thing called Pollution and Global Warming.
The amount of Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Particulate Matter in the air shoot up so high during Diwali that it takes about a month to get back to normal.And in the end they end up inside us only.
And with time the situation seems to be getting worse and worse.In a city like New-Delhi,one cannot possibly go to the roof without having an Asthma attack! And yet people don’t stop.Holding their breath just long enough to set fire to the firecracker and then rushing back inside to inhale again.
Quite often I ask these people…
“Why do you do this when you don’t seem to be enjoying it very much and neither is it good for the environment?”
And the typical answer I get is
“Well…I do it for the kids.”
“They love it.”
Well of course they love it and that’s because you are making them love it.Try setting fire to your own house and the kids will love it.That doesn’t make it right.Why not make the children understand the harms of it?The effect it has on the environment.Why follow the trend?Why can’t we be the change?
Its kind of weird,the type of festivals we are celebrating.I mean, why can’t there be a festival where people plant trees or donate money or do social service or something.Why is it about burning your money on the toxic firecrackers.Because looking from a larger perspective,no matter how good an entertainment it might look for the kids, what one is doing here is lighting fire to one’s own kid’s future.