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Let There Be Noise

Not withstanding the media’s  (TOI in particular) constant attempt to force Halloween down my throat, I have decided again to write about the festival which indeed is part of the Indian tradition – Diwali. Some may criticize me for being uncool, but I guess Delhi need not be any more cold than it already is.
I grew up in an era when SRK-ization of India was happening. Come Diwali and we were inundated by “Say No To Crackers” campaigns which told us horror stories about how crackers led to loss of someone’s limb/life. We were made to believe that one night of cracker bursting led to more deaths than the number of causalities in road accidents everyday. They employed all tricks of the trade to keep us off the fireworks – environment being the oft cited reason. Apparently, it was good for us to plant saplings on the roadside (which will eventually wither away in two days due to lack of care) as it would help in reducing the pollution “others” will create on Diwali night. The fact that it was a total waste of money, time and the saplings (which could have been planted somewhere else) was of little concern to anyone. I too jumped onto this bandwagon with élan and have regretted it since then.
The few moments of joy that interspersed this monotonous campaign were when someone burst a cracker within the school campus. A loud boom and the expression on the faces of the students changed to like someone on Prozac. Teachers would make disdainful faces and look at us with disgust. Bag searches would be conducted for traces of any leftover crackers. Students would be cajoled, threatened for information on the culprit. “We won’t punish the entire class if you told us who was behind this”- yeah, like we would. Most of the time, the teachers returned empty-handed. We were seasoned pros in this interrogation business!  Winking smile
It made me sad when a few days back I read about a school suspending the entire class for an innocent moment of fun bursting crackers while not taking any action against a molester teacher till media highlighted the incident. As the corrupt and undisciplined Delhi wraps up its buildings in Chinese electric bulbs, I would ask everyone to let children be children. While you should exercise all the due precautions while bursting crackers, hell don’t say no to them!
Be safe and sound this Diwali.


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