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Diwali the festival of lights

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Diwali (or Deepavali) is one of the most colourful, sacred and loveliest festivals of the Hindus. It is celebrated every year with great joy and enthusiasm throughout the length and breadth of the country. The festival of Diwali marks the happy return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. It is a festival of lights and festivities. The festival begins approximately twenty days after Dussehra and shows the advent of winter. Diwali is to the Hindus what Christmas is to the Christians. It lends charms and delight to our life. With fireworks, sweets, gifts, apparels, prayers and other such beautiful traditions, it is one mind-boggling occasion that cuts across all boundaries. Diwali is one of the most joyous and biggest festivals of the Hindu community.

Not just Hindus, but people of other communities love celebrating it too. Many non-Hindu Indian families from the Jain and Sikh religions have often joined in and made this a more widely celebrated festival. 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, crores of rupees go down the drains for 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 an old age home. The festival must be celebrated in an environment-friendly manner. With every household bursting crackers, the problem of noise and air pollution increases manifold. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days. 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. May this festival of light bring wisdom into everyone’s life, a smile on every face and a society which is free from stress and violence. Let us aspire to a vision of a global family where people of different races, religions, cultures and nationalities live together in harmony. Let us celebrate this Diwali with great fervour and enthusiasm and bring wisdom to every home and heart. This Diwali let us also salute the people who devote themselves to bring light in the darkness. Diwali is a festival full of sweet memories and a heart full of enjoyment. A Happy Diwali to all.

Jubel D’Cruz

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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