My Fire Connect – No Crackers – Safe Diwali!

A Fire Connect
A Fire Connect- No Crackers

A loud clanging sound followed by grief-stricken wailing echoed in the entire household.

Without wasting a second, everyone scurried towards the sound of crying to see the smallest member of their family shrieking profusely with a tea vessel lying next to her.

It did not take much to interpret what had transpired there. The little girl had accidentally poured boiling hot tea on herself. Her dad immediately rushed her to the hospital and after lots of treatment, she healed but the scar remains even after a good forty years.

“Boohoo!! Boohoo!!” a sound synonymous with some untoward incident quite often rang in the household with that little girl burning herself with something or the other. Sometimes the candle was the culprit, other times a slightly burnt matchstick. Sometimes any hot utensil did the crime, other times hot water or milk.

By now, you might have understood that I was that mischievous little girl and my knight in shining armour was my dad. He did everything to protect me, but still, poor me had my ways to get hurt. He would keep no stone unturned to relieve me of the excruciating pain and to heal me at the earliest possible.

Fire, getting burnt and I have a special connection with each other. I don’t know if fire attracts me or if I attract fire. But, most of the time we go hand-in-hand, leaving me burnt, traumatized, in pain and suffering.

sparks of firecracker

And Diwali is the festival of lights, diyas, and firecrackers.

One Diwali, gloom engulfed our happiness when a firecracker burst on my face leaving my face charred. My thick black eyebrows, my long curly eyelashes, and my front hair all got burnt. The most devastating Diwali for all of us.

I was immediately rushed to the hospital and treatment started. An uncle of one of my neighbours had come to his house to celebrate Diwali. When he came to know about me, he prepared a paste and guaranteed that I would heal without any scars. His paste worked and I gradually recovered.

Given my history with fire, we were always cautious, still, the fire had an intense connection with me. My body has many scars marks and this tradition continued even after my marriage.

a frame of ganesha beside lighted candles
Diwali Prep

It was my first Diwali after my marriage. I participated in every household chore and Diwali preparation work enthusiastically as things were quite different in my sasural as compared to my mayka.

I found every custom unique and admired looking at and participating in how things were done.

After performing Diwali pujan and having a lavish feast, we went out to burst crackers. In my excitement, I forgot my connection with the fire and started bursting crackers.

I lit a fire on the anaar bomb and it exploded before I could run away leaving my neck and arm burnt.

Thankfully, my father-in-law had already kept a bucket filled with water and I was given immediate first aid.

That spoiled my mood and I cursed my bond with fire. Anyways, we returned, played cards, had our last ice cream for that season bidding goodbye to summer and then we slept.

I had conceived the next Diwali and thought it was not wise to burn firecrackers. I celebrated my third Diwali at sasural with my son. We didn’t burst many crackers at that time too – just one fuljhadi each to celebrate the festival.

As Lakshay grew, he started talking about crackers. I didn’t want to spoil his mood so we again planned to burst crackers. But, the only condition was that I would stand far behind everyone.

As I have a strong connection with the fire, wherever I may have stood, the fire would have found me. And that happened. I was standing far behind, still, and a rocket from God knows where came crashing down on me hurting my foot.

Why me, God!!!

We stopped bursting crackers from then on. But, I had that guilt that I am injuring the already spoiled childhood of my son. Corona, intense competition, pressure to be multi-talented, and the stress of extra classes is already jeopardizing our kid’s childhood.

But, keeping in mind my issues, we had to come up with an alternate solution – a solution that can help my son enjoy his festival without hurting the environment and me anymore.

person in white shirt playing drum
Dhol Beats

The Meri Wali Diwali is now celebrated with Dhol beats and dancing. Yes, after performing Diwali Pujan, we first distribute food so that no one sleeps hungry on this, one of the most important festivals of Hindus. Then, we have our dinner and thereafter, we play dhol beats on our music system and dance to our heart’s content.

We enjoy the Diwali festival with dhol sounds without the usage of any kind of fire and without harming the environment. Schools also these days create awareness among students regarding environmental pollution so kids themselves don’t want to burst crackers.

We want Lakshay to enjoy the festival in the best possible way. We involve him in Diwali cleaning work, pujan preparation, and performing puja so that he learns and appreciates our values, customs, and traditions. We want him to develop empathy towards others that’s why we have started the tradition of distributing food to the needy.

We also want him to be caring towards to environment that’s why NO CRACKERS.

No Crackers
Pic Courtesy: Google No Crackers

Before Lakshay, we never distributed food or danced to dhol beats but after him, we have found some very beautiful ways of celebrating the festival. Love you my bachcha…

-Rekha Mittal Gupta

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