Diwali – Fire and Sound, Sweets and Worship


Yesterday was the occasion of Diwali festival in India and elsewhere.

The firecrackers started on Thursday evening and are still continuing as of today (Saturday evening now). There is no real limitation for bursting of firecrackers in India, though the Supreme Court has mandated acceptable decibel levels after 11 PM or so. But, life goes on. There is no possibility of strict enforcement given the length and breadth of the country. Even in a metro like Mumbai, the noise continues through the night.

But then, we fall asleep, don’t we ?

Since complaints are of no use, we do the next best thing – just doze off !

As I write this blog post, I can hear the continuous sound of firecrackers, and the occasional flashes of light across the sky caused by the rockets launched in celebration. My son and I launched probably close to 20 rockets in succession during the time allocated in our building complex for bursting crackers.

It is OK to do that, but not so in South Mumbai or near the airport, as President Obama and his entourage are in town today (and tomorrow). Curbs have been imposed and enforced strictly for a foreign head of state, while we cannot enforce the rules for our own benefit !

Well that is India, and the Diwali fervour continues in the suburbs non-stop. Less of sweet consumption this time – I did not see much action on that front. May be educated people are becoming more sensitized on the impact of diabetes, the largest disease afflicting millions of Indians today. Of course, people do buy sweets for distribution to their friends and relatives, household help and drivers, security guards, et al. But not so much for in-house consumption any more, I guess. That’s a good development.

Another important aspect of Diwali is the temple visit and worship. Normally this happens on the morning of Diwali Day. My wife and I visited the temple in the evening, and there was hardly any crowd. I was a bit surprised, thought that the crowd which missed the morning worship would make it in the evening. But looks like everyone made it in the morning ! Very surprising !!

Well, that is Diwali, the most auspicious festival day in the Hindu mythology, when good overcomes evil, light throws darkness out.

Wishing you all a Happy Diwali, and Hoping that the visit of President Obama will bring forth a strong positive relationship between the world’s largest democracy and the richest one.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
6th Nov 2010
Mumbai

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