I saw an ad on TV the other day, proclaiming “Yeh Diwali Khushiyon wali”. I wondered whether the said statement was infact true. Does it even feel like Diwali this year?
This year has been dull on the festivities for obvious reasons. There were no happy bunnies on Easter or the yummy kheer your friends bring on Eid, Onam brought back only memories of a happier time, Independence day didn’t bring in the sense of freedom either, neither did Dussehra feel like a victory.
A country where all festivals are celebrated with great fervour and jubilation left paralysed and gripped in fear. A world brought to standstill by an invisible virus. Mother nature took out its toll on her violators.
A virus is all it took to show us humans our place in this ecosystem. Such was her aggression. Such was her pain. Such was her angst. Her vengeance spared no one.
The year started with the pandemic outbreak and there are no signs of it receding in the near future.
When I travel across the streets here, I see a few houses lit up with diwali lights and the rest few completely barren, like no soul lives there. Many lost their loved one’s and many can’t even travel home to meet them.
Let this diwali be a time to be grateful for all one has. If you are celebrating Diwali with your loved one’s this year consider yourself to be among the lucky few. For many don’t have a reason to celebrate.
Evident as it is that the pandemic is here to stay for a while, the onus befalls on the individual to decide whether to bow down and stay cocooned in their homes or to brave the threat and step out.
For an economy which came crumbling down after the pandemic breakout, I would say the latter is the only viable option. It does come with the threat of covid but let’s be honest noone is safe.
The moment you step out you are exposing yourself to a risk. At the same time we forget that avoiding the risk by staying home is not an option for many.
Many of us are privileged enough to even have an option to stay at home and still earn. But there are millions for whom this is not feasible. They are forced to venture out for a living.
There daily income feeds them and their families. With the market shutdowns and restrictions around, it has become even more hard to earn a living these days. People struggle to get even a meals worth every single day.
The plight of such people is often ignored but whenever you can do your bit by purchasing small items from these small vendors. It won’t empty your pockets but fill someone else’s for sure.
The allure of shiny bright decors from fancy stores is definitely unmatchable but realising that you are the reason behind someone’s smile for a day is even more elating.
No saint myself, I feel we need to change ourselves with the changing times.
The charm and appeal a big brand presents is immense but the shocking truth is that these so-called high end products are often procured from small vendors and manufacturers. They rebrand those items and sell it to you in higher prices.
So the next time you shrug off a beautiful handcrafted item from a street vendor for being cheap and basic. Think again.
As we move towards a more atmanirbhar India, let’s make sure we do our part and enable that change as much as we can.
Another crucial point often neglected is the environment. The aftermath of a Diwali night shows up the next morning each year. The choking pollution it generates is a thing to reckon.
Thankfully, there is a ban on burning firecrackers in many places due to the current situation this year. But what if there was no ban? The smog will have eaten us all. Mother nature can forgive but will it forget the harm we are doing to her everyday.
Sustainable ways of living is the only way forward and there should not be any compromises made on that front. Doing away with the harmful crackers and pollutants is imperative. Finding more eco-friendly alternatives should be encouraged and accepted.
In early days, all the festivals we celebrated across the country were a reminder of our harmony with nature and its cycles. Each season brought in a reason to celebrate and be joyous about without harming the environment.
We have lost that balance with mother nature and its time we bring it back.
The festive season shows us that there is light at the end of what seemed like a never ending tunnel.
As the flowers are decorated and diyas lit, there is a small twinkle in everyone’s eyes. A twinkle which evades fear, vanishes hopelessness and prevails with gratitude and reinforcing faith.
A faith on humanity to do right and just again. Bringing back the Khushiyon wali Diwali.