History of everything including Diwali is all over Google. I’m one who passed the subject of history with grace marks (10th mock exams). That’s the truth bomb now you can stop reading. Without going into the mythology of Diwali.
Let’s get personal- ‘What is Diwali to you?’
Yes, I’m asking you, You! The reader! I asked my friend this, over-planning something. We came up with different answers. New clothes, lights, family, friends, sweets, diyas, festivals, colours, new year, pooja, prosperity, money.. and fireworks. Yes, I’m a vegan, I’m a passive environmentalist and I care more about nature over most humans. (An intense topic of discussion for another day).
Honestly, Firecrackers were on my list because the word Diwali still reminds me of it. Going by facts, India and Diwali are not even the first on the list for the most crackers burst in the world. China is the biggest manufacturer, and The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the world. (Oh, Disney stop selling fantasy already!!)
Do I still burst crackers?— No! It’s been a few years and it’s been surreal to see the transformation in many families who gave up firecrackers. Upon reading a beautiful article (sighted below) I had a change of heart for our government. In spite of the government ban, some will still be smuggling crackers into their homes. Then in crisis, we’ll blame the government for not doing better, to curb pollution. You do your bit na?!- It all adds up, every home counts, and every firework that lights up counts.
I am speaking from a future, where things will be hard for children and grandchildren. I’m requesting you review the Diwali you’re trying to recreate now. How many ‘Patake-wali-Diwalis’ do we need, to make us more aware of the need of the hour? Does the air around you need any more smoke? The impact of air pollution is like smoking 5-7 cigarettes a day. Do your child’s lungs need those cigarettes?
Many young people are dying of heart strokes. Doctors do link it directly to pollution if not our lifestyle. Even then —The annual turnover of the Indian Firecracker industry stands at ₹3,000 crores.
Sure, naysayers will come at me saying, “Oh hello! Even lighting candles and Diya causes pollution.” The ones who want to take a bigger dig at me will go into jargon. “Hey, what about your Carbon Footprint from all the other things every day?” Exactly! Carbon footprint! That shouldn’t even be jargon anymore. If you don’t know what is Carbon Footprint I allow you to pause. Look into the mirror for a few seconds and say “I forgive myself for living under a rock.”
Collective living is the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint. Watching movies in theatres over your laptop; travelling by bus/metro over your personal transport; a million people celebrating Diwali together instead of celebrating Diwali individually as single families: is the best way to reduce your Carbon footprint. If you still have the urge and must by any way light a sparkler (because Goddess Shagun, biggest eye-roll) then make sure a million lungs are spectating just one sparkler.
Hoping that that 1 in a million will definitely plant a tree to counter that pollution.
Happy Diwali and I hope we and our families will define festivities in a new way,
Light up our minds with brighter insights,
Clean out our shelves of beliefs that are obsolete,
Help grow the real green currency- a.k.a. trees,
Meet everyone with more tolerance and compassion and
Choose to fuel our bodies with all things joyful, healthy, and love!
Bring Home a Good Lifestyle
Sneha Bhuwalka (@mycoffeeweather)
Article for heart change for the Indian government.