Today was Diwali (Ref. earlier post of the day for explanation). Every year, I fall sick on this day. No, it’s not some strange and unknown curse like that of the Pharaohs that gets me, but a simple allergy. Every year, I get allergic to the smoke caused by firecrackers and fall sick. Last year, it was a throat infection. The year before last I was, thankfully, in Paris. And in the preceding years, I was variously sick with cold, sneezing, throat infection and even fever. This year, I suspect it will be wheezing. I can hardly breathe. The air is full of smoke. I wish I could do something about it. Before any of you begin to accuse me of double standards, I have never burst crackers, even as a kid, nor do I intend to in the near future. I refused to burst them, not because I was making a statement against pollution, but because I was terrified of the noise it made.
Anyway, my rants apart, the point is, is this really necessary? The last I heard, Diwali was also known as Deepavali: the festival of lights. I don’t see too much light here in Chennai. Instead, I hear the kind of noise one would expect if he/she were stuck on Mount Road with everyone around them honking. One look at the price list of the local supermarket reveals rather a lot. One would have to spend nearly Rs. 2000 ($50) on firecrackers for a child. This, assuming the said kid likes to burst them and have a good time. And in India, Rs. 2000 is a lot of money. Is this really needed? Can’t we teach our kids to spend that money better? Even a trip to a restaurant or new clothes would be worth it. It appears a criminal waste to buy firecrackers for $50 only to burn them up (literally) the next day. Be honest, would you burn a $50 bill for fun? I wouldn’t.
Oh well, I am ranting again. My cousin tells me my questions attest the fact that I am old. She is 12. Maybe she is right. At the ripe old age of 25, I fail to appreciate the intricacies of cracker-bursting and look at it as a waste of money rather than necessary expenditure. Yes, she is right. I am growing old!