A Sombre Diwali

Wednesday, 27 January 2021



A Sombre Diwali

Sidharth Bedi Varma | November 14, 2020 18:10 hrs

Patta bomb, Aalu bomb, Fuljhadi, Anar, Chakri are some of the names we have heard over the years as we frequented the various cracker-sellers on the street around Diwali.

I remember when we would give quantified and hand-written lists to our parents and as kids, the list would not seem to end. Of course, the hardcore celebrations would be for two days and we’d have to ration the supply accordingly.

This happened until the time I turned 15. Now 15 years later, the world has changed; and not just because of Covid, but because a large population, like me, understood how harmful crackers are for the environment. Of course, over this period of coming of age, you tell your friends that crackers are harmful for the planet. But young adults being the way they are, would burn another one just because they could.
This also acquired a religious narrative when courts tried to intervene and districts started being given ‘celebration timings.’ As it is, environmental concerns are considered more of a ‘first world problem’.

That being said, Covid seems to have marred the celebrations in a good way. I may be speaking too early, but I can’t seem to hear the stray firecrackers this time around. The fireworks would light up the sky at least 48 hours before the actual date and then 24 hours after. But here’s a year where this culture hasn’t clouded our skies. Also, mercifully, the obnoxious fumes of gun powder has not vitiated our air.

The use of the word sombre fits in a sentence like this – “The night skies were sombre and starless." But strangely enough, this is a year where the skies are most likely to be filled with stars! So, Let’s hope Guwahati’s pollution parameters remain healthy.

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