News Leak Centre

Lit the goodness of Diwali

 

Diwali , the festival of light, is an auspicious occasion to celebrate the victorious fete over darkness. But with changing times, it also raises new complications.The exorbitant amount of firecrackers used during the festival also brings in pollution issues. Bursting of crackers not only frightens the innocuous pets at homes and disturbs the aged, it also emits harmful and hazardous gases which also affects the human body. Diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases can be triggered by the rising level of air pollution.It can also affect pregnant women and newborn babies. The resultant noise pollution can also spiked ischemic heart diseases and hearing impairment.

 

Going earthy is a great way to usher in the festival of goodness.Instead of  using numerous bulbs which consumes exorbitant electricity, handmade oil diyas is a traditional and cost effective way to decorate for the festival of lights. Not only are the clay made diyas bio-degradable, it also beautifies the occasion. Diwalis also is a special time where gifts are exchanged.It is an appropriate and thoughtful gesture if one would give their loved ones kitchen garden essentials such as chives and culantro seeds which can be grown easily on the balcony in the urban spaces. These greens will not only purify the air around but will also help provide oxygen.

This festival also sees many eager people cleaning and whitewashing their homes.A cost effective and bio-degradable approach is to decorate the rangoli with rice grains,rice paste and colourful pulses instead of the harmful and expensive powders. Flowers such as roses and marigold and green and red leaves can also be used to adorn the rangolis.

Another important aspect of this festival is the food culture.It is essential to take care of one’s health during the festive season as one tends to gorge on food that are delicious to the tastebuds but are extremely unhealthy.Oodles of sugary desserts, ladened with calories are used during the making of sweets for Diwali. Chickpeas flour, semolina and black rice along with jaggery and honey as sweeteners is recommended.Black rice pudding aren’t only classy to look at but is highly nutritious.It is not only a good source of antioxidants but anthocyanin too which aids as anti-inflammatory,anti-viral and helps in preventing cancer.

 

10 things that we miss doing in Diwali’s now.

If you were born in the Seventies, Eighties or early Nineties, Diwali was undoubtedly a festival you looked forward to. Now, the festival brings with it fond memories of people we grew up with, events and fun activities and preparations leading to the festival.

Holidays, not a movie but actual 20 days long holiday

In most parts of the country, for lakhs of school students, Diwali signified the advent of a much awaited vacation after the first term exam. The very thought of spending 20 days away from school and studies would bring a smile on their faces. Kids would make plans to spend time with friends and cousins, while elders would reserve their holidays to visit their home town and celbrate the big festival with their extended family.

Cleaning up, no maid but You!

Diwali is also the time when people tidied their homes, executed pending repair works and decorated the entrances, balconies and stairways with fancy, colourful lights and lanterns. Right from the wardrobe to the utensils to electronic appliances, everything is cleaned to shine like new. Floors and walls were scrubbed clean and woe betide if you were standing under a window when the ‘saaf safaai’ was on. For kids, it was a matching of wits as we convinced our parents those broken-down toys and that favourite dress could last another year.

Family shopping

Back in those days when computers and the internet had not invaded our lives, one of our favourite events was to go shopping with parents to buy new clothes and gifts for the family. Remember how your mother embarrassed you while haggling, ‘Discount de do na bhaiyya (Please give a discount)’ or to ’round off’ the total figure (to less than what was on the bill) at your family store. The sheer delight of shopping for, and with, the family was so special.

Crackers

There was a time when ecofriendly meant ditching plastic and planting more trees. Celebrating Diwali then was incomplete without crackers. The memories of the smoke-laden saanp goli, chakri, phuljhadi, dot caps and pistols could easily make some of us cry with nostalgia. Remember how we used to take all our crackers in terrace and put it in the sunlight so that they burst better.

Homemade sweets and farsaan.

There was a special joy in helping your mother to make chaklis, shakkarpare, chivda and other farsaan (salted snacks) for Diwali. It was fun to exchange these goodies with neighbours and visit each others’ homes to gorge on munchies. Sigh! We did not care about piling on calories then.

Earthen diyas, not Chinese lights

And not the fancy Chinese candles that died in a day. The mud-coloured clay diyas could be cleaned and reused year after year. You could also paint them as per your fancy, which led to a few fun-filled hours of getting messy 🙂 We did not mind spending hours filling and refilling those diyas with oil. Because, truly, nothing in the world can illuminate better than earthen diyas.

Rangolis, to celebrate and showcase your skills.

Diwali was also the time to show off one’s artistic skills. Lovely, colourful patterns would adorn the entrances of every Indian home. Some societies till date organise rangoli competitions during Diwali, which most of us look forward to.

Greeting cards not whatsapp text message

Season’s Greetings…Ah! Nostalgia
Those 4 inch cards with warm messages and wishes from dear friends, relations and cousins could easily melt anyone’s heart. And if they were hand crafted, all the more special they would be.

Teen Patti, not on mobile but with relatives.

For some of us, Diwali was also the time to indulge in some harmless gambling and earn some quick money. Teen Patti, Black Jack, Bluffmaster… bring out those cards once again.

Homework, to study during 20 days long holiday.

Ugh! Most schools till date continue to torture kids in the name of Diwali homework.vAlthough the purpose was to ensure kids had enough revision of multiplication tables and grammar, the thought of filling pages of notebooks during holidays still gives us the jitters.

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali.