How Diwali Changed For Me…

Posted on October 17, 2009 in Environment

Last evening, while all of us were busy celebrating Diwali in different ways, a friend of mine, Rohin Raveendran sent me the following mail, which I though is worth a share. So read on.

I am sitting in a room with my nose covered by a handkerchief, accompanied by smoke, which has enveloped the whole locality I live in. No, this is not fire, and I find this situation freakishly funny. In my 18 years of life, not once did I miss a Diwali celebration. Myself, along with my friends would begin the celebrations weeks before Diwali. We would buy a number of different crackers, so many of them that after every Diwali we were left with a few crackers. We used the remaining ones when India won a cricket match over some other nation. It all seemed and felt like a fun, exciting and pulsating experience. I also remember how our school teachers used to tell us all to “say no to crackers” as they wanted us to celebrate a noise and pollution free Diwali and how it could lead to a safer life for the children working in the cracker factories in Sivakasi. Neither did I, nor did my peers pay any heed to this request and said “yes to crackers.”

Gosh, it’s 10:25 PM. Coming back to the room I am sitting in, all I can see out of the window is smoke, I better shift to another room before this smoke invades this room and infects me with Asphyxia.

Sp where was I, oh yeah! Diwali. This year, I do not feel like going out and burning crackers. I wonder what has happened to me. I am experiencing this transition within a span of an year. But why am I sitting inside the room while the whole of Delhi, rather India is celebrating the victory of good over the evil? My slightly and slowly maturing brain pauses for a moment. What celebration of good over the evil? By burning crackers? What ‘good’ are we going to celebrate by releasing so much pollution and smoke into the environment? The victims of the mayhem would be cursing us all. This is a festival of lights and not smoke.

I regret realising all this after 18 long years. Many small children are still out there bursting crackers and having fun. Maybe I can be an inspiration for them, and for those who are elder to me and have still not realised.

My request to all would be to celebrate the festival of lights by lighting ‘lights’ and not spreading smoke. I hope each one would understand.

Thanks Rohin for sharing this message with all of us at Youth Ki Awaaz. We hope your message reaches out to everyone around.