Sunday, October 18, 2009

75. Deepawali sans pollution

Deepawali was celebrated last night. It was heartening to see that the festival of lights was much less polluting this year. I could sleep peacefully in the night, as the usual deafening sound of crackers was missing. In the morning, there was not much litter in the streets. Even youngsters enjoyed the festival with Rangoli, lights, flowers and sweets. It is good that we have begun to realize the need to avoid pollution and one only hopes that this is not limited to not burning crackers during Deepawali alone.

What disappointed me this year was the reduced number of earthen lamps. We have come to depend more and more on electrical lights. This demands less labour, conveys opulence and is convenient. But the amount of satisfaction that one derives out of a festival seems to be proportionate to the amount of work one is prepared to do.

I miss the time when Deepawali meant hundreds of earthen lamps, neatly cleaned, arranged in rows on bamboo sticks, thrust into banana trees. Cow-dung used to be put on the bamboo sticks to hold the earthen lamps in place. In the evening, the entire locality would come alive with hundreds of earthen lamps fighting the darkness in front of each and every house. The scene is difficult to describe. The combined smell of cow-dung, banana tree, cleaned earthen lamps and mustard oil used to be nothing less than intoxicating.

But the character of festivals is bound to change with time. Let us not fret over what we have lost, but enjoy what we continue to have.


nituscorner said...

i even saw electric diyas.....and I had the last laugh. what next??? wishing you a happy diwali

Anonymous said...

I didn't burst a single cracker this time.

rohini said...

I see one massive big affair on Diwali in the future like abroad, during X-mas

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