Tag Archives: festival of lights

Displacement

One year back on the occasion of Diwali, I was relaxing  in my countryside home, listening to old Hindi songs on vinyl records, and now I’m freezing up in Delhi winter, feeling all the more nostalgic for my culture. To give a background check on things, I’m from Maharashtra, and currently I’m in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi about 1500 km away from home. I have to say this, this is the first Diwali I’m spending away from home and it is completely different feeling altogether. So it is obligatory for me to write a nostalgic post about celebrating Diwali away from home. I would not say celebrating but living through Diwali in a hostel.

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All our adventures and journeys in the end lead to one destination- HOME!

Diwali for all Indians is like Christmas time, everybody is home, relatives and close friends visit you and you visit them, everybody enjoys sweet delicacies at each other’s houses. But for me, all I remember about spending Diwali last year, was writing an environmental-pro post on why we shouldn’t burst fire crackers and damage our own health as well as other’s sanity. Looking back at that post this year away from home, I feel different, I feel sad that I’m not with my family, and moreover I will let my anti-cracker stance slide for the moment, just for the sake of my argument. For the people of state, this festival is celebrated differently and its importance is more than any other festival, it is celebrated with much zeal and gusto.
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I cherish this particular quote by William Trevor!

Looking at the culture of Delhi, rather looking at how Diwali is celebrated at Delhi, I feel like I’m not even in India, I feel like I’m displaced away from home, these celebrations in the university campus make me feel more displaced and long harder for my state and its people. Celebration in the campus should make Diwali feel homely for all outstation students, rather it alienates me more, and makes me miss my family my mom and dad back home. Today on the first day of Diwali, I suddenly realize that I’m indeed away from home , and at the same time it makes this university campus more foreign and different than usual. On regular days, I don’t feel like I’m away from home, I do know that my home is away from me, but just that I have friends here, and it reduces my longing for home to some extent. I understand today what it feels to be displaced from home and how detachment feels like.

I truly understand what it means by,

” You don’t know what you got, until its gone”

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Precisely! 😉

Wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous Diwali! 🙂

P.S I’m sorry that I broke my promise for posting more articles than usual, but these days I have being caught up with more study and less free time, please forgive me for that. 🙂 😛

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Diwali- a festival of lights or a disillusionation of civic sense

Today is the last day of the festival of lights, diwali. This festival marks the glorious return of Lord Rama after he defeated raavan, back to ayodhya, the people of Ayodhya back then welcomed their rightful heir by lighting lamps, and that’s why it is called so. But in the 21st century India, the consequences of this festival are far more outreaching, it signifies the time when people with asthma, allergies and pet cats and dogs are disturbed in worst possible ways because of the smoke produced by burning of fire crackers and all this is without taking in consideration the air and noise pollution because of fire crackers. Well back in the 20th century or the beginning of 21st century, cities of India were not as overcrowded as they are today and extent to which fire
crackers were burned did not exceed civic understanding. It is during this time, when we find out that the people, who you thought had a civic sense or understanding actually didn’t care for the fellow being who they stayed with. During diwali, the myth behind the fact that people of city had some awareness about the health of city and its environment is completely destroyed, you find out they are selfish and narssisitc in their way of thinking about the society in which they live. It is sad to find out all this during a period of 3-4 days of the year, unfortunately this is the case in all areas of India. Fire crackers, which we burn are made by child labourer who work day and night, only for the happiness of us- the middle class, moreover they suffer from horrible accidents in which they are burned badly. The hypocrisy is that when people start talking about child labor, they start delivering extensive lectures about how we need to stop it, but during this so called festival of light, but burn a lot of fire crackers, and indirectly support child labor, as these industries employ children for work.

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A chilling account of child labor in the most delicate way.

Not just that people burst crackers at 2 or 3 am in the morning, just for their own pleasure and happiness, hence destroying the sleep of countless others. By doing that, not only they disturb their sleep they invite the insults of these people. Is this all diwali about, disturbing others in all possible ways and inviting bad wishes from them?? Well I would like to emphasize to you other facts too, it is a festival of happiness, friends and families visit each other, gift each other many things and lot of other stuff, in short it is Christmas time for all Indians.

There is a day on diwali called as Lakshmi poojan day, in which people perform Pooja of the lordess Lakshmi, the god of wealth and invite her to their house for her blessings. Just think after disturbing people in all possible ways, will she bless your house?? Or rather will she even visit? We seriously need to think over how this festival should be celebrated and bring about a necessary change.We need to make the festival a lot less troublesome and more environment friendly. I may be speaking of all the sins people commit, but there is a positive change in people; you see many posts on Facebook, where people encourage not to celebrate the festival in all the wrong ways, and celebrate it in all the right ways.

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An amazing message spread in a good way

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Comical way of spreading awareness(I’m sorry it is in Hindi; translation from top left to right and then bottom; date a ‘hot’ cracker don’t burn one, make the boys turn their heads, but don’t burn chakri, make boys jealous don’t burn stuff, well it is the best possible translation!!!)

There is a good will and hope in people, there are a lot of comical ways in which awareness is spread, and I think in all the worst case scenarios, when you see a change, a saying carries on.

“Where there is a will, there is a way”