Diwali is here again. The festival is celebrated the world over in all regions where the Hindu community has a presence. With fireworks, sweets, gifts, apparels, prayers and other such beautiful traditions, it is one mind-boggling occasion that cuts across all boundaries — economic, cultural, racial and otherwise. Diwali is one of the most joyous and biggest festivals of the Hindu community. Not just Hindus, but people of other faiths love celebrating it too. The festival must be celebrated in an environment-friendly manner. Just imagine if every household bursts crackers, then what impact it will have on the environment! Although it is difficult to get over the temptation of bursting crackers, better sense should prevail, in the storage, use and disposal of fireworks. Let us all do our bit to make this festival season safe.
But sadly, people today are forgetting the real meaning of Diwali. For them, it is just a holiday and another occasion to celebrate. People are busy adorning themselves in expensive clothes, jewelleries, preparing various kinds of delicacies, lighting up and decorating their houses and inviting friends over. For the youngsters, their merriment knows no bounds. They burst crackers to the zenith of their mirth. They also enjoy with their friends. Every year, millions of rupees go down the drains in the buying and bursting of crackers during Diwali. Why can’t the same money be utilized for the upliftment of the poor? In India, innumerable people do not get even a morsel of food to eat. Instead of wasting money on crackers, the same money can be donated to an orphanage or a home for the aged.
Diwali is a festival of lights. Lights (electric or ‘diyas’) are lit in every Hindu homes whether they belong to the North, South, East or West. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days with the burning of crackers, distribution of sweets and visits to homes of relatives and friends. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, light, wisdom and fortune is worshipped on this day. Houses are usually white-washed and new account books are opened. My wife Shirley and daughter Sweta love celebrating Diwali too. Every year they wait for the day when I have to buy them crackers and sweets of various kinds. Sparklers and fountains are what my daughter love the most.
Diwali is a festival full of sweet memories,
Sky full of fireworks,
Mouth full of sweets,
House full of diyas
And heart full of enjoyment.