New Delhi: ‘Deepawali’ or ‘Diwali’, as it is commonly said, is the most important festival celebrated in India. The main reasons to celebrate this festival with such joy may vary from religion to religion, yet the essence of Diwali remains the same. 

Talking of essence, how can one not notice the effect of modern living on Diwali. Don’t you miss all the ho-hum in the markets weeks before this festival? Bursting crackers without being looked at angrily? Sneaking out sweets made by our mothers and grandmothers? Going out in the evening just to see all the beautiful decoration days before the festival? There is so much that we have forgotten or are not willing to do just because those activities temper with our so called hectic lifestyles.

People have always mend customs and traditions according to their own preferences and likeness and Diwali too has not been spared.

For instance clay diya’s have been replaced by candles or by neon lights. The use of stickers has given way to the age-old tradition of making rangoli with colours.

Similarly, personal greetings with neighbours have taken the form of SMS, E-cards or just phone calls. People prefer to spend time in a small cocoon rather than going out and meeting others. Reason being the strain of ever increasing family budget which surmounts during festivals.

No one has the time or even patience to toil in kitchen and prepare ‘mithai’ when ‘Dairymilk- kuch meetha ho jaye’ and other tempting sweets are readily available in the market.

Diwali Melas have become restricted to clubs and societies wherein no outside member is allowed.

The ‘Festival of Lights’ is fast losing its true spirit in our modern day society.

However, the small towns and cities are still clinching on to the old customs. They may not have better facilities and equipments as a metropolitan but, then too, with whatever little they have, they celebrate this festival with much higher energy and enthusiasm.

How long will they be able to keep it this way is yet to be seen. As for the metropolitan cities, how will the ever increasing urbanisation further change the ways we celebrate Diwali will be seen in the years to come.

(Tarun Sharda/JPN)