Diwali has always been associated with the pleasant autumn mornings. As a child I Eagerly counted days to Diwali soon after the effigy of Ravan was burnt on Dushhera. The wait for Diwali was full of endless to-do lists firecrackers to buy, friends to visit (& not to visit) Diwali lights, Diyas , rangoli designs and our homes becoming “ mithai ki dukaan “. On the day of Diwali we eagerly waited for puja to be over quickly so that we could burst crackers.
After Diwali , there was the mandatory illness due to allergies.
Now that was my magical childhood, Magical despite the pollution (as childhoods often are presumptuously magical).
My motherhood has a different story. Come autumn , I enjoy the mornings from a distance, as though looking out the window but reminiscing in past. I stare outside thinking how much trouble it will be for me to manage my daughter’s breathing issues. That she will miss out on dance and sports due to it, that when she is school I have to ensure that my work revolves in a periphery of 20 minutes to school as the numerous emergency calls do being called to school due to breathing issues are scary.
My to do list for Diwali still begins after Dushhera which includes Friends to visit, gifts to buy and stocking up on masks, mosquito patches and inhalers.
Am I blaming Diwali for pollution or change in season for mosquitos leading to dengue mania? Am I saying that it’s various kinds of pollution caused by us which are making us sick?
Am I blaming the farmers for burning stubbles that fill the Delhi air with unbearable smog clogging our lungs and making children fall sick?
Can a different farming technique prevent this cause of pollution across major parts of North India?
Am I blaming the pollution in metropolitan cities caused by variety of factors and not just one?
July 4 fireworks in US emit the equivalent of 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (Source inverse.com)
It is true that fireworks contain toxic gases & particles, that are dangerous. But India’s carbon emissions have increased by 5.2% in 2015 contributing 6.3% of all global CO2 emissions, even though global emissions remained unchanged (according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK and the ‘Global Carbon Project’.)
Industrialisation without consideration for environment, decrease in number of trees per capita , increase in urban density of population, rapid urbanisation with environmental disregard , and mobility of population are amongst the prime reasons for India being ranked 4th in carbon dioxide (kt) emissions (2,454,968 kt)
The difference between reasonable restrictions and blanket ban is degree of trust put in citizens to be responsible humans. No one will buy and sell firecrackers in Delhi, it’s a breathing respite , but there will still be buying , selling and burning of firecrackers . There will also be pollution on the other 364 days .
I have an urban jungle in my house and balcony, even though having greenery in house comes with the fear of mosquito-friendly existence. For now we are gifting plants on Diwali as my 9 year old feels that’s the best gift along with sweets. She also loves to look at firework as children believe in magical childhood no matter how presumptuous
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