Diwali is not only a time to enjoy the triumph of good over evil, it is also a great time to reflect. As you look in awe and marvel at the beautiful lights, the many splendid varieties of food, sweets and savouries displayed in your dinner table, the sparklers and crackers booming away in the yard in the midst of your family’s laughter, love and joy – and look at yourself and your family dressed in your year’s best attire that money can buy, and dream, and fantasise, and wish that the Diwali evening would never end, please spare a small moment or tear to reflect and ponder on the unfortunate. Diwali is not a time for joy for them, but of severe painful memories of loved ones who may have died, become separated, or literally not there but miles away in another land, or due to some unfortunate accident parted from you. These are the evenings – once in a year when you sit and reflect on the past years when you were together as partners and loved ones. Diwali only exacerbates – worsens – aggravates – intensifies – the loneliness and the pain and the suffering that you feel and endure with a heavy heart. Also think of all those who do not even have a roof over their head and are not fortunate to see, do and experience all that you are doing this evening – all only a distant dream to the many living in tents, sheltering in other people’s homes, or at the mercy and generosity of others.
Think of the many living in poverty and all other unfortunate who will look up into the sky, and see the many sparkles from the fireworks. And how they dream and wonder in awe at their plight and in retrospect question the super beings as to why and how they were so unfortunate – thinking that one blast of that fireworks in the sky could provide a decent meal to him or her and even their entire family. Please, marvel as much as you like on Diwali evening, but spare a tear and a thought! Sushil K Sharma