Saturday, November 16, 2013


Kali Puja to Diwali to Chhath Puja to Jagadhatri Puja...and now cricket, more so because of Sachin's respite at all...Every few seconds there is a cracker or a bomb bursting somewhere. Is this how we celebrated auspicious occasions in the past? The other day I was having an insightful discussion with my father on the same topic and that is when I realized that people have become so impervious towards the major environment related issues and the problems that the old and sick people have to encounter because of so much air and noise pollution. Think about the new-borns, the bedriddens, the animals, birds and the poor and penurious, think about the money that is being wasted especially when the times are so difficult.. I have a pet dog who could not eat properly because of these high decibel sounds.

We keep blaming the ruling party, the entire system and the circumstances for our plight. But are we not equally responsible for the ruckus that is being created , are we not part of this system? Yes, I am referring to the way we celebrate Diwali and Kali Puja. We are all aware of the turmoil that our beloved earth is going through, then does it make sense to add to the sound/noise and air pollution? What kind of world are we leaving for our children?

At the risk of being criticised by the admirers of the ruling party, I want to ask what is this with their double-talk? Why do you make rules when you allow people to break them? In the very first place, why do they issue permits to sell these harmful crackers? The decibel marauding firecrackers and the microphones blaring from all four directions, is this right? Politically may be, but for the common man who hates too much noise, smoke and dust these merriments are becoming nightmarish.

Tantriks and purohits, in the olden days, used to perform Kali Puja when it was pitch dark outside on the night of amavasya/ new moon, late at night in the quietness. The sadhna, the ritual was so difficult and demanded so much concentration that any distraction would mean displeasing the Goddess. Thus using  firecrackers was out of question. Even during Diwali (Diwali literally means a "Row of Lights", celebrated on Krishna Chaturdashi ), one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year, a time when Indians all over the world rejoice .It is the darkest night of the darkest period, yet it is a celebration of light! Diwali is presaged as the victory of good over evil.

Diwali celebrates Lord Rama's glorious and long-awaited return to his Kingdom of Ayodhya after his fourteen long years of exile in the forests. It celebrates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Narakaasura who had kidnapped and terrorized the gopis of Vrindavan. When the evil Naraka was finally killed by Bhagwan Krishna and Satyabhaama, he begged pitiably for mercy; thus, upon his entreaties, it was declared that this day of his death would be celebrated with great joy and festivity. It is also celebrated as the day Bhagwan Vishnu married Maha Lakshmi.In general, Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, of honesty over deceitfulness, of truth over lie, and of light over darkness.

Burning candles, fireworks and sparklers are brilliant methods of conveying our joy. But, they are not the only or true meaning of "light." Diwali means dispelling the darkness of our ignorance; it is a festival of the light which shows us the way on our journey through life.  The purpose is to glorify the greatness of love and truth, triumph of good over evil. Lighting diyas or candles is still fine but the crackers! Hard times are ahead we all know, infact difficult times are already here. What with the rising prices of potatoes and onions without which Indian cooking is unthinkable, still we burn money all in the name of festivities.

Well, some may think that I am preaching but no.. honestly I abhor the kali potkas and chocolate bombs or any other form of firecracker. Not just because of my allergy and respiratory problem but also because the elderly people find it very difficult to step outside or sit in the puja pandals. I felt very dearly for my pet dog who could neither eat nor sleep properly all because of this undesirable noise. The explosives made him very restless and nervous. I am sure others have had similar experience.

One may justify the use of firecrackers as the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains. But here, in and around my building and also in many other places in Kolkata I see no reduction in the population of mosquitoes and other insects...

There..another one goes.. today happens to be the eve of Kartik Puja/ Poornima …so one has to bear with this once again...



  1. Most of us (seem to) do not share our joy but compel others to have a look at our joy and heave a deep sigh. This is true with all other moments of joy. this is the mentality behind all these bursting of crackers. No rule or government can change it untill our society censor it.

  2. Very true. We become unmindful of the inconvenience caused to others during festivals.

  3. Festival of light, not noise. I dislike the crackers too, though I no longer have to put up with the same levels of noise anymore. One of the slightly dubious perks of living outside India.

    Very well put.

  4. DR.RAGHUNATH MISHRA 'SAHAJ'Nov 16, 2013, 11:38:00 PM


  5. Very thought provoking...we have become insensitive to the feelings of others...



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