Diwali is the festival of lights and is celebrated , for the triumph of good over evil when Lord of Ram returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in exile. (there are many other versions too)
Diwali or Deepawali is lighting of clay lamps filled with oil. The diyas (lamps) are placed outside the main door of the house , which is adorned with colourful powders in symmetric or asymmetric patters called 'rangoli'. The whole house is cleaned and in ancient times the house used to be white-washed every year to welcome Goddess Laxmi.
New clothes are worn and traditional sweets are exchanged and partaken.
Crackers are burst with great felicity and people take pride in bursting crackers.
But spare a minute , pause and think .
Why are crackers burst?
To celebrate the Deepavali festival, would be the answer. But hey , Deepavali is the festival of lights and noise and cacophony has no place in the celebrations.
The beautiful festival of lights should not be marred by the ear-splitting burst of the 'atom-bombs' and the allied harmful after-effects of the same.
The smoke released from the burnt crackers is an air-pollutant. People suffering from asthma and other related breathing problems are the worst affected by the smoke. Senior citizens and infants are disturbed by the high decibel. Spare a thought to the sick and infirm of the neighbourhood.
The spirit of Diwali can be celebrated in its pure form. When we light a lamp we are dispelling darkness , darkness of ignorance and negative thoughts that dwell in the mind. Hence lighting of a lamp is symbolic.
Let us burst crackers but not disturb the neighborhood. The amount of money gone up in the flames could illuminate a poor man's house or fund a poor but deserving student's education.
Let us celebrate the festival of lights for a cause a good cause and keep aside a sum however small it maybe to bring cheer into a fellow being's life. Ma Laxmi will be pleased and shower her choicest blessings.
SUBH DEEPAWALI TO ALL THE READERS.