is here ! As always, it ushers in an amalgamation of fun,
frolic, festivities and joyous
celebrations among Indians
all over the world.
celebrated for various reasons--both religious and mythological.
Some claim that the day is marked in
honor of the defeat of the evil demon Narakasura, while others claims that
Diwali symbolizes the victory of King Rama over the Lankan king Ravana
and the former's return to Ayodhya .
Over all this "festival of lights" signifies the triumph of good over evil and gives us
all reason enough to celebrate
! It is a hallmark of "Indian ness", as
it is celebrated with great gusto
across the length and breadth of the
country and across the world wherever you have Indians.
During the season
there is a splash of vibrant colors as
each household is artfully decorated with beautiful "diya"s, as the Indian sky is aglow with
fascinating fireworks and as anyone who
can afford is dressed to kill.
No celebration is
complete without sweets. It is
impossible to walk through
by-lanes without enjoying the
aroma wafting from every home, of traditional
sweets being freshly prepared.
But as the saying
goes, there are two sides to every proverbial coin and Diwali is no exception.
Consumerism is at its heady best during Diwali. Products
of every kind are being displayed in a
way that is designed to lure even the most reluctant of customers. The ludicrous
splurge seen across the land
challenges the stark truth that a
sizeable population of India lives in poverty, deprived of three square meals,
basic amenities and primary
education--- which also happens to be their basic rights !!
sprees make mockery of the poor's plight !
Firecrackers are burst
with great fervor all through the week . Gentle sparklers and rockets bring joy
to children while the teens and the adults vie with each other to burst
the bigger, and therefore louder, crackers.
This activity no doubt ushers in glee but the air pollution that the crackers cause can traumatize asthma patients for days.
The noise pollution caused by loud crackers
can be extremely distressing for the
feeble -hearted, elderly and pets. It can even prove to be fatal for some.
Fire-work related accidents
are common during Diwali. Infrastructure
and emergency set-up is mediocre in many parts of the country and this adds to the general disdain.
savories and a mind-blowing array of delicacies
are much sought -after during
the season. Almost all these sweets and savories are made with ghee and other
fatty variants. In a country which is now being labeled as the "diabetic
capital of the world" and where lifestyle diseases are on a steady rise, it
would be prudent to exercise retrain
while consuming Diwali goodies.
Tips for a Safe and Happy Diwali --
Burst those crackers in moderation if you really
have to, but play it safe. Keep the crackers at a distance while bursting.
While bursting crackers, avoid wearing silk or
synthetic clothes. Also keep a bucket
of water nearby should an accident
Keep the phone numbers of emergency services ready at hand
Make sure that children play with crackers only
under adult supervision.
Eat sweets and savories in moderation to avoid health-related
complications such as heart-burn and
Keep emergency medications always at hand
Diwali is a
celebration of 'the good' scoring over
the 'not-so-good' …! Enjoy a safe and happy Diwali keeping in mind the well
-being of your family, friends, neighbors, the less- fortunate and pets!