The festival of lights is around the corner, a festival marked by the start of new beginnings. I remember Diwali marked the beginning of new clothes with loads of fire crackers as a kid. Auspicious ceremony of purchasing all (things) new. As a family, we had these gathering wherein all celebrated; irrespective of old and young. We used to wake up early, take bath and assemble outside on the streets to burst that first cracker in the neighbourhood 🙂 Right from the large atom bomb to flower pots and colorful rockets. All in the wee hours of morning when most people are busy culminating their fascinating dream. An atmosphere filled with many a smiles. Joy unadulterated, happiness undefined and most importantly a feeling of oneness. As a kid it would be difficult to understand the complexity of life’s uncertainty. We lived a life full of burning imagination and desires. As a matter of fact, every Diwali we sought to accumulate new things which fell under the broad terminology as ‘vogue’. Be it the latest bicycle with a 17 gear switch or the all new walkman which was brought to the classroom. The list kept increasingly overflowing and when the time arrived to purchase many omissions took place depending upon various parameters.

As the sequence of activities unfold we understand the nature of life better. Someone has rightly said, the path to salvation is not when you die but it is actually along the course to death. One needs to cross the widest of river and yet expect it to be the least deep! In reality, life in itself is a labyrinth and we most often loose track of our existence. The needs and expectations out of life keep changing and every circumstance brings with itself a fresh set of challenges and obstacles. The smart few always find a solution., a better part of the lazy others always find an excuse not to find a solution. So then who is to be blamed? Is it our existense or the lack of survival instinct?

I was 13 when my Uncle gifted me a watch as a Diwali present. It had a light, was water resistant upto 10m under water and also had a quick stop watch 🙂 The feeling was just eclectic and I was not shy of brandishing it in front of my friends. I was thankful enough for the kind gesture but I knew that the level of expectation had also escalated. I dont remember whether I received any present next Diwali, however I had a sour feeling because of the very expectation of having to receive something more valuable. The point I am trying to make is very simple. As individuals we grow up to things which are very luxurious elements to most of the third world people. As we are introduced to these new luxuries, our mission to strive for higher value elements jumps from its orbit of circulation.

It is we, who are the sole representatives of our fascinating desires. Some know what is of importance and a few others just take it as it comes. Laconically, we are the breed of civilization that is hard to satify. In a world full of materalistic ideals, uncivilised obsessions, pre-valued characteristics and orthodox expectations; we as human beings are becoming more and more self centred individuals. A need backed by comfort, money and (google) I guess. Let us hope to build a happier environment with happiness of humanity as a criteria of evaluation rather than happiness of self!

I drive past the streets flocked with people wanting to satify their desire. A desire unsunbstantiated and unproductive. People who are slaves of themselves. Slaves in the name of society and mankind.., like the unrelentless ant, they are working towards only increasing their net worth (physical assets). What matters more in MY opinion is the moral assets which accumulate and make us a responsible individual rather than garbage assets. I hope this Diwali to start a new beginning. A beginning marked by smile, happiness and generosity within my boundries of sustainability.

Even as I say this, I prepare the final checklist of the (things) to purchase this Diwali!!

The checklist

1. The TimeKeeper – Mitch Albom

The Sapna Bookstore in Bangalore, Karnataka, India

2. Visit to the temple I believe there exists ‘Solace’

The Shirdi Sai Temple in Hubli, Karnataka, India

Wish all a very happy and worth living Diwali…

take care