With the auspicious and sparkling festival of Diwali approaching along with Kali Puja for the Bengalis, it is quite expected that everyone remembers the message of divinity and spirituality, which is the fundamental aspect of this festival. The festival of lights signifies the victory of the divine light over evil darkness, victory of truthfulness over the evils of falsehood and thus the expected victory of an upright society over its evil norms.

Bursting crackers and lighting diyas (earthen lamps) denotes that the darkness is won over by the light of divinity. But preaching the word of spirituality has many other ways and forms. It is believed in many religions that feeding a poor is hundred times a greater deed than giving some offerings to the Almighty, helping someone in need is esteemed far more than bowing your head in front of the Almighty, however all the other forms of prayer are esteemed too according to individual sentiments.

But as different religions speaks of Karma being the Dharma of an individual that one gets near to the God through ones good deeds, so, this year let us plan to celebrate in a different way. Besides bursting crackers, lighting lamps and diyas, let’s try and offer sweets to those underprivileged people.

Try and donate some crackers to some boys in the slums, try and light someone’s house who is not able to afford diyas.

This Diwali let us try to bring smiles on the faces of at least a few hapless people who are deprived of this grand celebration. Happy Diwali!

Dos and don’ts

With the festival of light, vigour and the pomp approaching, the sound of bursting crackers is going to fill the atmosphere along with the radiance of the diyas for these few days of Diwali and Kali Puja. However, with the growing number of accidents and mishaps in the recent past years, it is indeed desirable that one takes precautions while bursting crackers or lighting the house.

Following a few words of safety and precaution can make this Diwali a safer and happier one.

First of all check out the list of 93 crackers which have been banned by the Kolkata Police and Municipal Corporation this year as they cause a very high level noise dangerous for the society. Check the list online or in your nearby civic body offices and avoid buying them.

Do not buy foreign crackers, which have been recently banned in Kolkata to curb noise pollution.

Use cotton earplugs while bursting crackers for one’s own safety as a sudden exposure to a loud noise can lead to partial or complete deafness.

Be careful with your clothes and those of your parents while placing ‘diyas’ in your house and try and place them away from any inflammable material in your house.

Keep a bucket of water or ice trays handy for emergencies.

Try and burst crackers with a long stick or else light them using an agarbati from at a distance as they can always burst suddenly. Also don’t try and play with a cracker which hasn’t burst once.

Avoid bursting crackers in the terrace as it is dangerous for both people walking in the streets as well as for neighbouring houses.

Always burst crackers in the presence of any guardian and in open roads.

Avoid in a locality where you know that there may be heart patients staying there and also don’t try to burst crackers till late night as it is also banned by the Kolkata police. These precautions and the instructions are given by the Kolkata police and Municipal Corporation, which will call for a happier and safer Diwali and Kali Puja.

(Coordinator, Class XII, St Thomas’ Boys, School, Kidderpore)