I have always had a hatred of loud noises. A hatred accentuated by the fact that, just as I am lolling on my settee and avidly watching the Diwali movie on TV, my house shakes, the windows rattle and I am jerked out of my sloth with palpitations. Not even the magic of Rajnikant can withstand the shock of a hazaaron-wala going ballistic just outside the window. Needless to say, then, Diwali is that time of the year when I swathe myself in cotton and cling on to my bed for dear life.
This Diwali was different. I woke up in the morning - as people call it, though I am still not used to thinking of 7 AM as 'morning' - to a totally unnatural silence and started wondering whether this was indeed the day my cousin had invited me over. Was it really the day of Diwali or was I going to make the egregious mistake on landing on the previous day and cause embarrassment all around?
It was Diwali, thankfully, and I learnt that, all over the place, there was this new idea of celebrating Diwali the eco-friendly way - sans-crackers. I was ecstatic. There you were - we had fixed up a day to be eco-friendly and, thus, could happily keep boasting of our eco-friendly ways the rest of the year without the burden of having to live up to it. Yippeeee!
We have all these days - and the theory seems to be that those days are there to bring to the fore and celebrate all that was there in the back of your mind anyway. Seldom have I seen it work that way. I see those days as being more for keeping all those inconvenient things restricted to that one day so that we can get on with our 'normal' lives for the rest of the year. Independence day seems to absolve you of any need for patriotism for the rest of the year; Mother's day is the day you visit your mom in the old age home and get that warm feeling of having cared sufficiently for your mother and, if Valentine's day does not operate the same way, it is only because your valentine will just not allow it to be so. Now, Diwali is the official day for being eco-friendly, thereby absolving you of the need to do a thing towards eco-friendliness during the rest of the year.
I do not need to teach my child to take public transport instead of insisting on being dropped by car; do not have to insist on him not junking his mobile every other day to get the latest model; need not keep reminding him to switch off electrical appliances when not in use or close taps and, in short, do not have to teach him to use with care all the things that cause pollution in their making. After all, I have done my part on Diwali, have I not?
I, probably, am the only person who prefers the vibrancy of Diwali with all the pollution (though my definition of vibrancy still does not go so far as those hazaaron-walas) if only we would be eco-conscious the rest of the year. That, however, is too much work. Much easier to be eco-friendly on one day and relax for the rest of the year!