The festival of light Diwali (or Dipavali/ Deepavali) has been observed across India and elsewhere with the usual gaiety it is known for. Occasionally, astrological stars play gimmicks with the beginning of the new year, and it occurred this time as well.
The new year of Gujarat, that normally gets observed a day after Diwali was held back this time. It finally began with Bhaidooj today.
I’ve so far loved Diwali like everyone else does, but have also since the last decade or so started disliking the amount of noise that the powerful firecrackers generate. This tendency began showing up more so, since I started meditating. I think, Indians have a lack of cohesiveness and indiscipline in their public life, which gets exposed during such public displays. The responsibility of evading firecrackers in Diwali lies solely on your shoulders therefore, and not the other way round. Watch out for, jump or duck them, but never do try complaining.
Parents could be seen often giggling around when their wards go on rampage. The occasion becomes a license for bursting the loudest of firecrackers next to thy neighbor’s boundary wall, and not to yours own. It becomes the responsibility of those taking care of the elderlies and the critically ill, to be on their toes, or else go to hell!
Sadly enough, the nature within the urban expanse also gets traumatized due to this human misbehavior. The cuckoo living within the tree branches next to my window went silent this morning as firecrackers began going off at a frenetic pace. She normally starts with her morning Jazz just after the first twilight rays had arisen over the eastern horizon. The firecrackers terrorized and delayed her morning Riyaaz by half an hour. One can just imagine what these silent sufferers might be going through!
One can find the same incivility taking place during some other festivals as well. Some joyous folks will always overlook the midnight ban on loud speakers and make the neighboring colonies suffer throughout Navaratri. I’ve always personally found Diwali more charming, when observed as a festival of light, and tried to light a few candles myself to celebrate the occasion. At the same time, kids lighting unharmful fireworks is also a joyous sight to wish for. But, how often do we get to see such harmonious Diwalis? Instead, firecrackers with several times more than the allowed sound limit, and foolhardy ways to handle them becomes the norm of the day.
This display of rudeness in public life is indicative of the suppressed desires most eastern societies have in them. The hidden, stirring lava finds its way out one or the other way round. But, more about this later. Should stop complaining for now, lest people began calling me names. In any case, my opinion should not find many takers in a world that was full of Diwali firecrackers. So, it does not matter whether I find it the right way to celebrate Diwali or not.