Sitting with friends and family, celebrating Diwali by watching movies and indulging in gossip sessions. Still, it's the family being together that matters. Deepavali is a big deal in my house, and I feel that we often lose sight of what's really important in all of this. People go nuts with buying new stuff, playing cards and gambling away huge sums of money... they spend tens of thousands of rupees on crackers, which have always infuriated me.
I always used to hate the noisy crackers because they would terrify me since childhood. I remember my mother telling me how I cried everytime someone burst a noisy cracker when I was a baby. I remember how my grandmother dreads the Deepavali time due to the noise outside that would go on all night. I was very particular about using the silent crackers, the kind that light up, but don't explode.
Then I got older and realised that even though I wasn't making a racker, I was still polluting the air horribly. The morning after Deepavali in any big city is nightmarish. There's thick smog everywhere. Come on, what are we doing? We're shelling out piles of hard-earned cash to pollute our own cities. To give our own kids breathing problems and making life hell for senior citizens. Still, as long as the family's having fun together, right?
I'll never understand where the whole firecracker thing came from; Deepavali is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after a long 14 year exile. People lit oil lamps along the way to light his path. To my knowledge, I don't think anyone set off rockets to welcome Him home. Nor were the roads lined with strips of 10,000 crackers. Bit of a rant, I know, but it's something that's always bothered me right from childhood. I'm thinking of my grandmother, who prays that Deepavali should never come. It must be horrible for her. The racket's going to go on all night, and there's nothing I can do. No way for me to explain what's going on, or why.
But I like Deepavali. My mom, cousins and I go around the house lighting diyas in all the window sills, so the house is lit up. It looks beautiful. One of my uncles insist that the tubelights should be off for an hour in order to light the house with diyas for an hour, which is almost like the idea of encouraging the theme of ''Deepolsavam'' and at the same time, it also calls for energy conservation. I spend the evening with my family and my friends, catching up and chatting till late in the night. We have a blast and yes, we never forget to gorge on sweets and savouries. That's how I celebrate Deepavali and yes, I'm planning to do my bit for energy conservation by encouraging the idea of ''Deepolsavam''.
I don't know how many of you have thought about any of the things I have ranted about today. Maybe some of you already feel this way. Maybe some of you had never thought about it, but please try to see my point of view now. Some of you might think I'm over-reacting, who knows. Whatever the case; if nothing else, try and spare a thought for senior citizens and animals.