Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Festival of Lights

Ah, Diwali; the time of year that almost every Indian waits for with bated breath. The magical festival of lights and sounds, that unites people across religions and instills a new vigour for life. Diwali arrives towards the end of the year, and usually creates a buzz well before the actual date, with fireworks dealers setting up shop across the city and sweet stores taking advance orders to ease the population's insatiable demand. when the night sky is set ablaze with rocket trails and the air is pungent with the distinct smell of burning sulfur.

To Infinity and beyond!

Bottle rockets trace long arcs into the sky and delight the young and old alike, eliciting gasps of wonderment as they explode into a shower of sparks.  Meanwhile at street level, bombs send ear-splitting shockwaves in all directions, bringing the faint-hearted a little closer to death’s door. At the end of the night, the roads are a desolate warzone, with the charred remains of burnt fireworks littering the streets and irregular blasts echoing in the distance.


This year, festivities were relatively low-key, given the rising awareness of the environmental repercussions of lighting fireworks. Over the last decade, there has been an outcry over the ecological impact along with the alarming noise levels generated during this time of year.

However, this jubilant time of year stands for more than just amateur arson and being a public nuisance. A time for reflection and rejuvenation, Diwali is a festival that celebrates newness and the beginning of a new year. Traders and businessmen clear out their records and start over afresh, while households make large purchases such as new cars or appliances. Still, we should transcend materialism and look away from the past.  On this occasion, let us look to the future, and see how we can better ourselves, so that the new year is lived happier than the one gone by. :)

Here's to a Happy Diwali!