Diwali- Paradoxical Brilliance.

So, the grand old festival of lights is back, and so is the entertainment which makes it so special.

The title is specific to the very essence of this week. This is the time the banners come out, on huge billboards across cities, towns, everywhere.

Of discount offers and mega sales, of course, AND, yup, of the so called ‘eco-friendly’ brigade, ably led by stars from the entertainment industry.

This is the time when endless demonstrations of ‘Say no to Crackers’ gain full steam. Then those film stars who have not uttered a word about the environment as such throughout the year end up using huge paragraphs about the environment and the fact that people are listening in keenly is in itself an achievement, considering they might as well record it and play it on a loop the next Diwali.

Then the environment conscious people put up the statistics which really prove Indians can live on the edge in ‘death defying’ conditions, at least by the way they explain these. Okay, there is a collective responsibility on their part to ensure people feel guilty about such alarming levels of pollution. People are amazing. They still will go, buy a small ‘phuljhadi’ to please the gods. 

And yes, alas, the day after Diwali, the same old story repeats itself. “Pollution Levels Reach Alarmingly High Levels According to NASA.”

But the main headliner? “Fireworks, Lights and Sounds across India”.

Paradoxical Brilliance, at its best.

-Anirudh Bhargavatula 

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