Tuesday, December 1, 2020

celebrating Deepavali 2020 - with sweets, new clothes and crackers - Happy Diwali

3 decades ago came Mani Ratnam’s ‘Nayakan’ – story of an Underworld don – even before the film was released, the songs became a super hit – there was this old themed song  "Naan Sirithal Deepavali"   - sung by yesteryear stars - K. Jamuna Rani, M. S. Rajeswari and chorus.  Read that this scene was shot at the spot where the Taj Club House, (Club House Road opp to Spencers) is located today. The old building previously located at that spot was called the "Indian Express Building" by film industrialists as it was adjacent to the Old office of the Indian Express. Thota Tharani converted the building's exterior into a brothel and used the opposite end of the building for Velu's house location. 



Deepavali, the festival is all about happiness .. .. the way to celebrate is a simple routine.  The purpose of the festival is to be happy and  make others happy by sharing – sweets, food, crackers and more – simply spread the happiness.   Deepavali brings cheers and happiness.  Right from our childhood days, we have enjoyed this festival.  The expectation would start a month or so, earlier.  Those days, getting the new cloth in time stitched from Tailor was a task – then a week or so earlier, father would come home with a bagful of crackers.  More than bursting them, taking them out of bags, placing them on the verandah and seeing them gave so much of happiness.  Deepavali Eve would provide opportunity for some testing ! ~ night would be full of expectations.  In the morning, would have oil bath (Ganga snanam), wear new clothes, pray to God, pay obeisance to elders at home – rush out with ‘oothuvathi’ and bagful of crackers.  Lakshmi vedis, kuruvi vedis and bijili gave us unbounded happiness.   

A couple of days,  the National Green Tribunal imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers from November 9 midnight to November 30 saying that celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths or diseases.  At Bengaluru, the High  court on Thursday granted authorities time till Friday to clear their position on green crackers. The court observed that without a definition as to what constitutes green crackers, the orders passed by the state government regarding bursting of crackers is prima facie ineffective.  



In recent years,  nearer Deepavali, the noice of advocates of crackerless Deepavali is more din than the sound of crackers.  Can any of these authorities think of a similar ban on say – sale of liquor, or consumption of meat or anything else ?    In the recent years, there has been some attempt to wean away people as some keep saying that ‘enthusiasm towards fireworks is going down; spiralling prices have forced people to buy less of firecrackers;  the pollution awareness is swaying public away from crackers and the like……….’.    

For those with some memory –  a couple of years back  ~ responding to petitions !  seeking a ban on firecrackers in India, Supreme Court  imposed several restrictions on firecrackers, refraining from a blanket ban. Apart from setting a window of only two hours,  for fireworks during Diwali, the apex court also said that only Green Crackers will be allowed in the country. Green crackers are low pollution firecrackers that scientists have developed in recent years but not yet available in local markets.  Some cine stars immediately joined the bandwagon telling .. ‘let us celebrate crackerless Diwali’, but the same star during her wedding bash ensured that crackers lit the sky !! … Stars would voice that dogs and other pets would be so afraid on the noise of crackers.  Did you hear a single voice when another animal (mink) in fact close to 2 crores of them were slaughtered in Denmark only – added numbers in other European and countries given to Mink farming for fur.  

                       Every year you get to hear newer names –they say AK47, Break dance, Golden Bonanza, Mumbai Indians, Oh Calcutta are some of the names quoted in the circles as wonders……… – at Triplicane, Sri Parthasarathi Swami purappadu in the mada veethis every year  would  take  4 to 5 hours as residents celebrate with crackers, fireworks and more !  alas, due to Corona, this year there would be no purappadu ! 

To those who feel - Crackers pollute !!  ~  do you travel on road, drive your car or by bus ?go on picnics and more ??  -  there is so much   PM2.5 on air on Highways.  PM2.5 refers to tiny atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of up to 2.5 micrometers. In addition to the exhaust of a vehicle, brakes and wearing out of the tyre and resuspension of road dust can result in PM2.5 emissions. Thanks to their small size, they can be easily inhaled and penetrate the respiratory and circulatory systems. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 can cause asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular disorders. CO is a toxic gas a high concentrate of which can lead to unconsciousness and death.  So will we vow to reduce the unnecessary travel ? 

How  addicted are you to your air conditioner? – don’t rich and powerful use air conditioner in their cars, room air conditioners at home and centralized a/c at offices – now a days, people are using air conditioners almost throughout the year, as in Chennai and other places –the climate, is hot, hotter and hottest .. ..   Air conditioning can cause – dry skin, muscle contractions, air borne infections,   respiratory problems, eye conditions and more – it is harmful for the society, more bad for those outside where the air is let out .. .. .. but it is for rich and famous !  -  they cannot live without refrigerators – be it in Office or at home – there is no harm perhaps in fridges as such - the problems occur when they escape. CFC's are ozone depleters, each CFC molecule can destroy thousands of ozone molecules. Ozone protects us from high levels of UF light. High UV can cause cataracts, skin cancer, DNA damage. 

Do we realize that Tamil Nadu as also other parts of the Nation are still under lockdown but for Nov 2020, TN CM Mr Edappadi Palaniswami announced relaxations that allowed shops and commercial establishments to be open till 10 pm, wholesale vegetable market is back at Koyambedu, hotels, tea shops, malls, cinema theatres are open.  The shooting of films and tele-serials are allowed with participation of max of 150 persons.   B u t -  Temples remain open for a restricted period, are put to lot of restrictions, no procession of deities and no regular uthsavams including brahmothsavams and annual religious rituals.  Political leaders can organize meetings, thousands can participate – but at Temples, we need to be cautious against spread of Corona.    

There are times when one feels, judgments are against the common man – and at times against the majority community .. .. .. sad !  ~  and in case you are sad, we neex to express our anguish and fight for our rights .. 

Sadly, on the great festival occasion tomorrow – there would be no Deepavali purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam.  Generally, Deepavali would occur on 4th of 5th day of Manavala Mamunigal and there would be grand purappadu of Acaryar with Perumal.  This year Mamunigal uthsavam has already concluded.  

The festival spirit is perhaps fully on though the incessant rains have been a dampener  – here are some photos of the shops at Island grounds selling crackers.  

Wishing you all a very Happy, sweet, safe, prosperous Deepavali 2020

 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13.11.2020 














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