One festival is barely over and another is round the corner. We have hardly been through with Durga Puja and Deepawali is knocking at the door. Around the year, we celebrate one festival or the other, but festivals are no longer the same. They do not bring the same joy and inspire the same involvement any more. There is no eager wait and no elaborate preparations. We seem to be celebrating them, because we have been doing so for ages. Indifference of the youth is particularly noticeable. I am not very sure as to how many of our festivals will survive a few years from now.
One of the reasons why we celebrated so many festivals was, perhaps, lack of alternative sources of entertainment. Festivals were what people looked forward to. These provided moments when they could get away from their everyday chores, when they could sing, dance and generally enjoy themselves.
But now, there are films, TV, internet, video games and what not. These seem to be much more absorbing and entertaining than festivals. These can be enjoyed within the comfort of one’s home and can be customized to suit one’s convenience. Youngsters find the festivals old-fashioned, time-consuming, tiring and boring. In their heart of hearts, even grown-ups feel the same way. We seem to have neither the time nor the taste to enjoy our festivals the way we used to.
No surprise, some of our festivals have all but vanished and some have shrunk in duration. Like Test cricket, festivals are falling out of favour. We must learn to live with T-20 festivals.