Welcome to that time of the year, when we finally embrace ourselves to become the ‘light of the year.’ It’s an ecstasy to enjoy every street lit up with houses overflowing with guests, gifts and an unlimited number of sweets and dry fruits trays, but certainly not ‘the patakhe’. But wait, is this possible?
Today, we at Tricity Scoop, give you a peek into the lives of some families of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, who proved that sometimes opting for a ‘Safe’ Diwali can lighten up your festive vibe more than any rocket or fuljhadi would ever do.
So, sit back, grab your Kaju Katli or if you’re a Punjabi, then grab your Butter Chicken and Rumali Roti as we present to you, Tricity’s Shubh and ‘Safe’ Diwali!
Harshak Abhinandan Singh, 23
Let’s start our first story from Mohali as we look into the life of Harshak’s family, who have been celebrating a cracker free Diwali for many years. ‘When you’re a kid, it’s but obvious to feel the excitement of both Dussehra and Diwali because it’s the time of the year to buy crackers. As a kid, I used to work in associations with the neighborhood kids to make our very neighborhood Ravan, so buying crackers was always important. It was essential to buy crackers worth 5000 INR whenever Diwali was near.’
When asked Abhinandan if he still continues to celebrate Diwali with crackers, the entrepreneur replied by saying that he has changed his Diwali routine by 180 degrees. ‘I think I started avoiding crackers in my 8th grade. Somewhere, I felt myself growing sensible and aware of my thoughts. I started realizing how much crackers impact the environment and the society we live in. It is true that maybe a century ago, we had a better environment so bursting these pathakhe was not that big of a deal. But we’ve overused them to the point that we’re burning the very environment we’re living in.’
‘Diwali should be a festival where you celebrate it with your loved ones because it’s the time where happiness reconciles into 1000 folds in every household. By bursting crackers, you encourage a negative feeling because you know at the back of your head that you’re hurting somebody/something for your own amusement. People should realize that lighting a candle or a diya or feeding the unprivileged can be merrier than bursting a Diwali bomb.’
Now we’ve arrived in the staff quarters of Panjab University as we listen to Peehul’s Diwali. ‘Diwali for me is all about meeting my friends and relatives as my schedule requires me to work and study throughout the year without any breaks. It’s exciting to help in the rearrangement of the house, especially the pooja room of the house, as redecorating my Ganesh murti along with Krishna ji, Laxmi Ji and all the deities gives me joy.’
‘I am a peace and nature lover, so I strongly prohibited bursting crackers during any festival and occasion as a matter of fact. I do not understand why people find it amusing to indulge in violence against nature, animals and their own self through this yearly routine. I recently discovered that bursting a fuljhadi is equivalent to bursting 80 packs of cigarettes.’
‘Diwali is a festival which brings you and your loved ones together for a massive celebration. When you think of a safe Diwali, think of celebrating it in a human-friendly way and not in an eco-friendly way, as there’s no amusement in harming others for the sake of a celebration.’
Aayushi Kaushik, 20
Taking another round trip in Chandigarh, we’ve arrived at Aayushi’s residence as she describes her ecstatic Diwali vibes. Like the rest of our guests, Aayushi explains how this festival marks the reconciliation of all her loved ones.
‘I’m currently pursuing my undergraduate studies in Dehradun, so I was delighted to be back in Chandigarh with my family for the festival. At home we start preparing for Diwali as soon as the festive season begins. We start by cleaning our houses then as the occasion comes near, we start preparing sweets, rangoli, gifts etc., at home for the neighborhood, relatives and friends.’
‘It’s bliss to see people come and go in my house. After the Puja, all of my friends come over and we go for Gedhi in the locality.’
When asked about her opinion on bursting crackers, she says, ‘I’ve had two German Shepherds before and it’s hard to see the living beings close to my heart being scared to death whenever Dussehra or Diwali arrives. They didn’t step outside their rooms whenever these crackers shook the environment for the sake of celebration. I cannot imagine what stray dogs and cats would go through around this time.’
‘Diwali, as the world says, it’s the festival of lights and light is a sign of positivity and happiness. By bursting crackers, you’re not only harming the environment and other living beings. Life is to find happiness in the smallest of things, so you can find happiness even in the small yet blazing light of a diya or candle.’
Sonal A. Singh, 52
We have now arrived at our last but certainly not the least stop in Panchkula, as we talk to Sonal A. Singh, a freelance artist and Art Instructor, who enlightens us with her Diwali celebration.
‘As a mother, daughter and daughter-in-law of the family, the preparation for the festival is fun yet chaotic as I have to look over the cleaning and redecoration of the house, the Puja, the after-Puja celebration and so much more. Even though it is delightful to see sweets piling up in homes and have a grand celebration with your family and friends, it’s also an expensive celebration.’
‘I believe that bursting crackers not only facilitates pollution of the environment, but it also encourages pollution of your money. But what makes it worse, is to see all those poor animals suffering on the road as they go through a hell period during the festival. When I used to have a pet, the being was scared to come out of the room even after a fortnight of Diwali.’
‘I cannot convince people to stop bursting crackers. Even after creating posters to spread awareness about ‘SAY NO TO CRACKERS’ in various schools, that poster would just remain a paper with some strokes and colors among the crowd. You do not celebrate the festival of Diwali to spread joy and happiness as there is a light living among us which waits for our attention and once, we do, we’re spreading light even without a fuljhadi.’
Though it is amusing to see an Anar Bomb go off and witness the short span of light it produces, who says that it will brighten up our souls for the rest of our lives. We hope that the Diya of hope of opting for a ‘Cracker-free Diwali’ spreads rapidly and we shall see a Diwali which is full of the noise of laughter from all households instead of a Patakha Rocket.
Through this article, we hope we’ve lightened up your weekend as we send our,
Diwali ki ‘Safe’ Shubhkamnaye!