I am sure this won't find you in the pink of health, because guess what you've done.
One question — HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO FUCK UP SO BAD?
Is this what Diwali is supposed to feel like? The festival of lights that is meant to bring us a little closer to our own roots hasn't done anything but spread darkness. What an irony! Happy Diwali to you, too! If happiness is what you were seeking out of this, all I want to tell you is that you've got the definition of happy all wrong. In addition to that, you fucked up. BIG TIME. Congratulations.
But seriously, is burning firecrackers the only way to express our sentiments for the festival?
Today marks the 4th day after Diwali and we are still finding ourselves living under a callous shroud of toxic smoke that is killing us, slowly. Painfully. The pollution levels, at this current moment, comes under the range of hazardous. Do you understand what that means? DO YOU?
I want to believe that there is something more than just the feeling of empowerment and excitement that one gets out of bursting firecrackers — those poisonous smoke-house that produces decibels of noise beyond tolerable limits and kgs of littered paper — at the expense of the environment that facilitate their life. But I fail to convince myself.
There have been endless conversations about how drastically crackers affect animals. You, very conveniently, ignored them. It's obvious that you didn't give a rat's ass about them but what about your people? You went to the extent of surpassing your own personal high score on pollution charts. Does the victory taste like chemicals to you? I am sure it does.
I have a really interesting piece of news for you. There is nothing, NOTHING, if there is no life! You’d do this again next year, and the year after that, and then what? Shit is going to get real, my friend, if it isn’t real enough for you, in your face (quite literally), already!
In 2014 , Delhi topped the list of the most polluted city in the world according to a survey held by the World Health Organization (WHO). A city that is already struggling with its high pollution levels ought to have strict laws to keep things under control. If you want to counter me by saying that the number of crackers sold this year have witnessed an enormous drop, I am sorry to break it to you but it just doesn't make any difference. You can’t simply say that you failed the test, but then at least you tried studying. YOU FAILED! And that too on a planetary level.
Shame on you and all your excuses. Shame on you for feeling that your contribution to this is negligible compared to others.
"Oh! We had a few leftover crackers from last year. Wastage isn’t good, no?”
“There is no feel in Diwali without crackers.”
“It’s our first after we got married. Toh crackers wala celebration toh banta hai.”
“We just got two dabbas of rassi bombs. That is all.” “You know, cars pollute the city way more…”
OMG! Don’t even get me started on the other sources of air pollution that are so conveniently being dragged into this entire facade. I don’t disagree. No one disagrees. All of us are very well aware of how the Earth is damaged by the numerous things you keep blabbering about. But that is no excuse to act oblivious to the fact that merely a day of bursting firecrackers landed us where we are now — breathing the same nearly-asphyxiating air of Delhi-NCR.
But are we even concerned?
If this were Beijing, the third consecutive day of this kind of severe air pollution would be declared as a "red alert", where factories and power plants would be directed to cut down on their emissions, schools and kindergartens would be shut down, and car use would be regulated according to number plates (restrictions similar to odd-even).
And here we are, walking about freely like mega invincibles humans who don’t even find the need of wearing a mask. This is so okay, isn't it?
These levels of sulphur dioxide, which can lead to a spike in asthma, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, were also found to be terrifyingly high in many areas. Seems like you've lost the gamble you made while burning crackers, thinking that your contribution wouldn’t cause much of a difference.
There have been numerous complaints on people facing breathing problems, reduced visibility and burning sensation in their eyes. Irate animals, health hazards, property damage, overspending by consumers, forced child labor in disguise of cracker industry are something which don’t even come into our brains as thought whilst we enjoy this violence in the name of celebration.
Are you so inhumane for not even noticing the state of animals who are completely wrecked during this time of the year? And what about the people with Asthma? And what about children who breathe more than adults? Don’t you care?
But then we’ll write, rant, make videos and the media is going to do what they do best.
All you are going to do, sitting behind those screens, is react — negatively or positively — and go back to breathing the poison you're slowly getting used to. The story will repeat itself. The activists, environmentalists, nature lovers, animal lovers and people who care, are going to shout out sense from rooftops (which aren’t visible, btw) to people suffering with a massive perspective block. NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE BECAUSE YOU'RE OKAY WITH THIS! Setting a classic example of “apne pair par khud kulhadi maarna.”
I urge you to take a moment. Consider yourself as one drop of the ocean. Every actions of yours create ripples big enough to make or break things. Think about how burning a single cracker is affecting you, your family, your pet and the community that you are a part of. Think about what you are actually gaining out of doing this? Is it really making a difference if you do not? Think about all the money you could rather use to make someone (or yourself) feel better? Won't that make you happier? Remember, the choice is always going to be yours irrespective of the laws. You decide what kind of a ripple you want to give rise to.
But these are merely words. My second question to you, Delhi, my old friend, is — are you ever going to see a happy non-polluting Diwali ever?