You are back again.
It’s that time of the year. When you miss people back home. Badly. A tear rolls down while seeing the window of your own room in your own home lighted up… And your voice chokes up while talking to your parents.
It’s that time again when the diya-s are lit up along the balconies. Your loved ones have painted them. They miss you. Which makes you miss them more. It’s that time of the year when these 2,000 odd kilometres seem like a million miles.
Oh, dear Diwali, you are back. It’s that time when I can get lots of me-time. I can afford to not worry about work. I can forget all about it because it’s time to rest a little bit. Have some stocks over for few days, lock myself in my room and do all the pending things that I have been planning to do for a while. Go out occasionally to look at the rangoli that others are painting through the evening, to check out the lights that they are decorating the hostel buildings with. Oh, dear Diwali, you are back again!
Dear Diwali, it’s that time of the year again where the air feels impure. When you can clearly see the smog all around you when you go out of the building. Yes, it’s that time when you better wear your pollution mask when you do go out, so that you breathe in a little less of the particulate matter. Oh and by no means forget to take the nasal spray twice a day! Because you have an allergy to dust and smoke.
Dear Diwali, it’s that time of the year, when you have to close the window of your room to not let the polluted air in. To save yourself a little bit from the noise of the bombs that are going off — the chocolate-bombs and the rocket-bombs, the whistlers and the patka-s. It’s that time when you have to stay awake all night. It’s that time when you give up the idea of locking yourself in your stuffed room to complete the tasks because it is killing you anyway, and trudge your way to the office with your laptop so that you can grudge on your blog that no one reads. It’s that time when if you are sleepy, you can switch off the light in your deserted office and rest your head on your desk until it’s morning. Hoping that the revellers have stopped celebrating in your name, dear Diwali.
Dear Diwali, it’s that time of the year when you cannot run in the open for the next few weeks because the moment you do, you start sneezing and having runny water through your nose because the air that you breath is freshly polluted by the celebrations in the nights of you, dear Diwali.
Dear Diwali, you were meant to be a festival of colours and lights. I didn’t know when you became a festival of sounds and pollution and torture. I am sure you don’t know that either.
Not many have the comforts of conditioned air that I have in my office. There are many who have to put up with the noise and breathe in the polluted air through the night, begging to stop and wincing inside and skipping a beat every time a rocket-bomb goes off nearby — because of what you have been reduced to, dear Diwali. Because children are being taught that fun lies in the rockets, the crackers and the bombs. And not just fellow-humans. Animals are falling sick. Crows are lying awake all night, confused and crowing away. Dear Diwali, I feel sad to see you reduced to your knees this way.
But who is listening? We are a society that takes seconds to catch on and spread wrong practices but years and sometimes lives to remove them. That’s how we “human”-kind are. I feel sad for you, dear Diwali. You were meant to be much more.