Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To be(long) or not to be(long)

Courtesy: Google images
A sense of trepidation. Heart beating slightly faster than usual. Questions buzzing in the mind. "Am I over-reacting?" "Am I doing the right thing?" "Will people think I am a snob?" "What difference is it going to make if only I do it?"

But then I always wanted to do it and I did it. No matter what. It might not be a big thing for others but it was a big move for me.

I STAYED AWAY FROM FIRE CRACKERS THIS DIWALI!

I have always been against the concept of fire crackers for the simple reason that they are a huge waste of money. That feeling started get stronger as I started seeing people buy crackers for 1000s of Rupees...5000-10000. At one stage of life I would think "Aha! Imagine the amount of ______ I can buy for this kind of money!" Fill the blank with clothes, music and books depending on whatever phase of life I was in :)
I then moved on to a phase where I started thinking 10000 Rupees is annual income for so many Indians..is it okay to just burn it all up?

The other reason I hated crackers was for all the noise they make. Shake up babies, old people and the
weak-hearted ones like me, break window panes and even shake the room, even if it was for a
nano-second. As such there is so much bombing going on all over the world. Do we really need this too? The more innocent sparklers, flower-pots and the zameen-chakkars are still better.

Then came the case of using child-labour. They say it's all banned now and they just don't use child labour anymore but we don't know for sure.

And now my biggest concern is pollution. Noise pollution and pollution of the atmosphere. Why do we have to add to the existing burden on Earth?

Okay all this might sound fair enough to read and talk about. But let me tell you by my experience. Actually putting this into practice is one hell of a tough one. First you have to deal with yourself. Have the utmost conviction. You will be faced with a lot of questions from within and others as well. Worst is this. "Oh you aren't bursting fire-crackers? Oh my God! But what about the baby? How can you deny her the pleasure?" I then have to explain myself. "The crackers are there. The kiddo is enjoying with the father. Its just me who's decided to stay away." "C'mon, what difference is it going to make? Don't deny yourself. Just go ahead and enjoy yourself." And I was like, "Hmm..oh...you know..still..." After the difficult conversation ended, I got thinking "Could they be right?" But then I stuck to my guns (pun unintended) and said NO. (I know you people are sensing a lot of confusion. Yes, I'm not hiding it. It was there - briefly though.)

Diwali evening: I suddenly found myself alone at home for a good 30 minutes. Initially,  I suddenly felt alone. Hubby and baby didn't force/beg me to join them.
I then switched off the TV, switched off all lights, lit up small earthen diyas, played some nice devotional music online. It was beautiful, surreal. I got ready to spend some good time with myself. And before I could even  start, the father and the daughter come barging into the house, making a lot of noise, turn on the TV to find a fav. movie playing and that's it!! :) I suddenly became this TV mummy grinning affectionately and rolling her eyes at the same time!

Anyway, my present state of mind is this. Successfully stayed away - thanks to my supportive family. But now what? Do I tell them to stop bursting fire crackers too? No way! My opinion is just mine. The other adults have theirs. The kid will form hers. I am not an activist. I cannot spread messages. I can explain myself if required. I can only follow what I strongly believe in. That's about it.





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