Today, I would like to wish each of my comrades in uniform a very happy Diwali, as also pray for the souls of each of my fallen brother/sister in arms and their families. There is already a half war ensuing along our borders as I write this piece. The boom-boom is of actual bombs and rockets there. Guns are real and bullets flying are real. In rest of the country people are doing annual cleaning of their houses and are getting ready for the festival of lights. Our brothers are cleaning their guns, modifying their bunkers and fortifying their defences. I by no way imply that we should not celebrate, but I want to share some feelings with you all which come to my mind on this beautiful festival called DIWALI.
What adds to the colour and glitter on the Diwali night is the string of candles and diyas that we light up all around the house to welcome Goddess Laxmi. On the other hand it is the sting of tracer bullets and illumination shells which light up the borders. We receive sweets here and there they receive hot lead splinters. We open all doors and windows so that she blesses us with prosperity of every kind, but imagine in a bunker there is a total blackout. The “arti” would have been done well before last light, and all diyas and flames extinguished so as to leave no trace of light for the enemy to pick up even a faint flicker peeping out of a foxhole. This is done to prevent drawing direct fire. The enemy is also smart, he would have surveyed the targets well before dusk, laid his weapons on fixed lines, and will open fire intermittently to keep the posts awake and on their toes, so that no one gets even a minute of rest, leave alone time to celebrate. Will the goddess not bless them folks, or is it that before dusk she blessed them and now has moved to more peaceful locations. May the Goddess be with them always?
I am happy to see that we have realized that crackers produce the worst kind of pollution, irritation, and air borne diseases, besides driving a hole in our pockets. The topping of the pudding is that we are banning Chinese products and especially their crackers. Do we realize this year the actual bombs which will fire across both sides of the line of control would have increased many folds? Can’t we ban them? There would be many a family who will be shattered due to the aftereffects of these live bombs and gunfire. The causalities will not stop unless we put a stop to the nefarious activities of Pakistan. I believe yesterday, Pakistan has again attacked many posts in India with their para-commandos to take revenge of the surgical strikes. Moment Pakistan gets unstable, this was bound to happen.
I also want to question here why is happiness showered to all governmental and other organizations by distribution of gifts during this festive season by various corporates. Is it customary? Is it compulsory? Is it demanded by these government people? Is it a matter of tradition? Is it to keep the liaison with a particular agency? Is it to keep the government agency’s mouth shut for wrongs the corporate do? Or, is it genuinely the corporate feel happy from inside? I don’t know. Come Diwali, and there is a long list of gifts which are distributed. The company may be in red in terms of accounts, but would cater for A-class B-class and C-class gifts depending on the type and rank of a person they have to please. What a shame it is? By the way these things are catered for in every year’s budget of the company. There is an elaborate discussion on the number of people and type of presents to be given. There are teams which are dedicated to select and distribute such gifts, with the best compliments from company management. I don’t know how to put it, the worker of the company may not get his bonus, as it is not compulsory if the company is not doing well, but these gifts are compulsory, form ministries, to police, to customs and all the rest. They may be state or central governmental agencies. I somehow detest it and can’t stand the people who accept it; in fact they expect it as their birthright. Why these gifts can’t be given to the poor and needy or shared with their own workers. Why can’t the employees have a happier Diwali?
I remember once when I was working for a private company, the MD called me and told me to select gifts for Diwali to be given to the top notches of Bombay. Well, mithai was a total no-no, so the choice was to make some herbal kind of hamper which was the in thing. So off I went with my wife, as I had no clue of any shampoo or cream. We made a huge hamper, costing about 2500/-and I was thinking will this be rejected. It was and the same was given to me for my consumption. My wife had a ball, as all of the products were her personal choice. Now, the MD himself went on a searching frenzy and got back with packs of seedless dates of a Saudi company. Each box contained about 48 dates and the cost of each box was 5000 bucks. Then there were half packets at half the prices for junior lot, and then there was a pack of 12 dates also. I was given the task to distribute the same to all mantris and tantris of the state government up to the IG level people in whose jurisdiction we were doing our business. I flatly refused, which was one reason for them to ask me to render my resignation. So I was kicked out to enjoy my Diwali. By the way, I got one small packet for myself, boy the date palms were out of the world. I had never tasted anything like that in my life.
Well, today’s newspapers and TV ads are just displaying sales from a pin to an airplane on a heavy discount. I am confused what to buy, from whom and from where. In fact, I was just thinking of why to buy anything at all as I have already saved many lakhs notionally if I just add the discounts. Well, let me leave it at that, I would like to wish each one of you my friends and your family a very happy, peaceful, prosperous, delightful, joyful, and healthy Diwali, and may I request you all to light just one lamp for all those who are sacrificing their happiness for us. JAI HIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!