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Sights, Sound and Safety on Diwali Day

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  October 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM Celebrating Life   - G J E 4
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Diwali is here ! As  always,  it ushers in  an amalgamation of   fun, frolic, festivities and  joyous celebrations  among  Indians  all over the world.
 Sights, Sound and Safety on Diwali Day
Sights, Sound and Safety on Diwali Day

 Diwali is  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 !!

Gluttonous  buying 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.

 Sweetmeats, 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 occur.

·        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  indigestion

·        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!

HAPPY DIWALI!

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