Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diwali Dreams: Where has all the charm gone?

Inspired by the wonderful Indian Culture, I write this on the eve of Diwali missing the olden golden days.

Diwali has always been the most expected festival of all times. Families, cousins & relatives meeting together. Sweets, crackers, & smiles all the way. Ofcourse, the new dresses & the fun attached. Diwali dream swirls back to those fun-filled days spent with cousins; boasting to be the fearless brave-heart, bursting the scary crackers; competing to have the best collection of fireworks amongst all cousins. I still remember the next-door neighbor who used to demonstrate competitiveness with our crackers. Those were Golden Days. :)
All these were around 5-10 years back. It was when there were only 2-4 TV channels & when we had the best fun of all times because we were all together. But, now, sadly, with the increase in the number of channels, & the special programs & movies, people glue themselves to it. Environmentally it is good to see the 'Cracker bursting level' decrease, but this feeling of being together has been diminishing as well. Only a few families seem to spend time together. Mostly, if its a Government holiday, everyone sit before the TV to have the so-called-fun.(if you call listening to some VJ interview some Actor/Actress as to what his/her favourite colour is, as fun) Yes, we do need relaxation, but how about spending some valid time with the family as relaxation? You can watch a movie or some extravagant-show anytime.But this time of celebrating with the entire family comes only once a year...

This Diwali, I was travelling back to Chennai from my hometown. During this strange travel, I saw the streets dark & empty, the front doors of most of the houses either latched from inside or wide open with the entire family sitting before the TV; & the travel was uncommonly silent. That too at 7.30pm on the best celebrated festival's date. This usually used to be the peak hour of celebration. Looks like there was some Super Hit movie on TV...

television2I was happy to see a few kids standing outside their houses trying to figure out a way to 'deploy' their rockets. But other than that, the streets were neat & clean unlike the years when the next morning used to have the roads garnished & coated with the cracker's paper bits..
Where has all the spirit gone? Diwali is supposed to be a day when you meet all your relatives, cousins, & the entire family. But, now, due to the personal economy, travel problems, work load, & transformed culture, spending a Festival has got itself a new definition.
Arrival of a holiday, makes a few to ask their curious questions: "What's the special movie on tv?", "What's releasing new?"...But  how about: "Who's coming home? Who are we are going to meet?"...

I was a TV junkie myself, so long. My mother used to push me off the TV & compel me to have fun with cousins. Now, that my cousins have all grown & most of them are either married or have got settled abroad with a nice fine job, we hardly meet during festivals. Its been a long time, since I even met a few. Now, I am very glad that my mum poked me off the TV seats. I would have never had those fun times again. The movies I was about to get hooked onto, are now being played very often on the same channel. And, I have also grown older to have such fun. Now, that I have come out of that craze on movies & TV, I find that the successive generation will be missing all that fun! Sadly, some kids hardly know who their cousins are.

Our culture consists of these closely knitted families to have all the fun in the world. Only a few lucky lads have that & amongst them, only the luckiest enjoy that. Fighting with cousins are the best too. Waking up early to burst the first cracker. Showing off that I am not scared to lighten that atom bomb, while being nervous on the inside... :) ... Having the best sweets & sharing them... Early morning mantras to chant... Rockets that fail/deviate from target... A few 'vedis' that don't burst at all... The heavy sad heart that shows up at the end of the day...the worst day of all --> To get back to school after the long awaited Diwali Holidays...

Those days are never going to come back again... Only memories creep... I really do miss all those cousins, neighbours, fun & those wonderful fights I used to 'celebrate' as part of Diwali... Not travelling alone...

Strangely, I was also accompanied by a few more passengers who were travelling along on this Diwali eve. When I asked my next seat 'bus-friend' on why she was travelling instead of having fun with the family, she replied that she had WORK on the following day ("SUNDAY"). That was because of a project release,she said. So, she was missing all the fun back home. This is the situation that this new "Work-culture" created to this country. I am not blaming her or her work-field; but I am feeling bad for her family. They are going to miss her on the special occasion. The reason of having festival is mainly an excuse to be with the family & have fun.

This was my first travel on a festival occasion. This has also become the first time to have realised how lucky I  was & how much fun I had. I was counting my blessings. I also realised how this TV is spoiling the roots of these Festival concepts.

I don't remember of thinking of celebrating Narakasura's death when I used to light a firework; I only remember seeing my family smiling at me to hustle back to them safely after lighting it. Where has all that charm gone? Is it going to fade away? I don't want electronic fireworks/crackers being launched online as part of FUTURE! I would only want to be with my family; be together & have fun.
Anyone reading this, please make it a point to spend the best of all times with your family! Even if you won't miss it, let your family not miss you!!

1 comment:

  1. in sync totally ... post is awesome, passionate and truthful ... I am glad i just did what u finally said (without reading ur post) .. AFter reading .. i truly realize how important it is.