A frightened Lulu, my parrot, suddenly flew in my room. He fluttered his wings and sat quietly on the arm of my chair.
‘What happened to you Lulu?’ I asked, noticing that he was still panting and was looking visibly disturbed.
‘Oh, they fired a cracker. They call it ‘Atom Bomb,’’ Lulu said. ‘I thought somebody had taken a shot at me!’
‘Don’t you know Lulu,’ I said, ‘With Dasara and Diwali approaching everybody will burst the fire crackers. Are you new to this? This has always been so.’
‘But it is a little too early for celebration of Dasara.
They must have used fire crackers because India won its match against Australia. What a match it was! A nail biting finish!! If you hear fire crackers on the day of cricket match, the world comes to know that India has won!’
‘I can understand if Dhoni, Laxman or Sachin burst the crackers.’ Lulu observed.
‘You know our national religion is Cricket.’ I said.
‘Oh yes, but is it not a gentleman’s game? Why annoy those who are neither watching nor interested in it by bursting crackers all over India?’ Lulu asked.
‘Lulu, you don’t understand. We identify so strongly with our cricket team. When they score a win over Australia, we feel we have won.’
‘What happens when you are celebrating Dasara or Diwali? During Dasara you denude foliage of plants. And big bang of ‘Atom Bomb! Sometimes you don’t understand if it is a fire cracker of a terrorist’s bomb.’
‘I see your point Lulu. But we are a country where there is very little to celebrate about. The poor are becoming poorer.....’
Don’t give me psychoanalysis of noisy festival celebration.’ Lulu interrupted. ‘Some things must be stopped.’
‘Hmmm... You are speaking like Shiv Sena or MNS followers! Don’t they always say that if something is not done we will stop it ‘our’ way, our ‘style’ to use their words?’ I said
‘Your political parties specialise in causing public nuisance under the name of festival celebrations. They win elections causing public nuisance. Jitendra Awhad creates pandal on the road and launches ‘Govinda’ celebrations. He does it for Ganesh Festival too at a different place. There are others who are trying to outdo him now.’ Lulu said
‘But people flock there.’
‘They don’t mind watching the fun. All festivals are causing public nuisance. The worst of all such festivals is Holi! It is unbearable in some parts of the country.’ Lulu observed.
‘Oh yes, they throw water filled polythene bags at you. You can’t even figure out who did it! I really like Kojagiri Poornima. They celebrate so quietly. It falls on the 22nd October.’
‘Ha ha ha! Lulu laughed. That is because you sit at home with some friends to celebrate it and remain blissfully unaware of what happens on the terrace. I watch it everywhere.’
‘Really?’ I asked.
‘What happens there? Tell me.’ I said.
‘Young men drink beer and not milk!’ Lulu informed me.
‘So you say nothing is really good about our festivals! That I must say is a very negative view.’ I protested.
‘I surely like some aspects of celebrations.’ Lulu said.
‘I can’t see any now.’
‘Why? Look at the ladies and men wear their new dress. I like to see men giving their sisters or wives Diwali gifts. Bengalis spend a fortune buying gifts in ‘Puja.’ Many Hindus give sweets to their Christian or Muslim neighbours and they reciprocate it during their festivals.’ Lulu gave a bird’s eye view.
‘I see your point. Everybody looks so cheerful till they hear a big bang!’ I said.
‘Festivals must bring cheer, not noise and nuisance.’
‘You said it, Lulu.’
Labels: Celebrations, Festivals, Lulu