As a 90’s kid I remember growing up celebrating Deepavali in the most stereotyped 90’s way, It was all about strategy, calculating and redistributing every cracker we had in the mere budget of maybe 80/- or 100/- that was allotted to spend. The previous night of the festival was when the big discussions began, we meticulously planned all the three days in a phased manner such that we didn’t have to face the wrath of finishing up all the crackers in a single day!
The morning of Deepavali festival always began with a loud thunderous ‘Lakshmi bomb’ which was our wake up call only to realize that we were already late by few minutes! The First sound of that cracker welcomed every kid onto street to discuss “Who was it?” each one had their own perceptions and assumptions.
This was an era where the Silicon Valley of India was neither filled with ‘Silicon’ nor it was a ‘Valley’, It was just a plain calm city. There were schools then too which made us take oath on not to burst crackers, there were newspapers then too which reported the number of eye accidents during the festival and there were warnings then too on the noise and air getting polluted but nothing seemed to be “Over-Hyped” Somehow the Supreme court was never needed to intervene nor the governments had to push their own “Ideologies”.
Even then the first sound of the “Atom bomb” was always as irritating as it could as it made everyone come out of their own house windows to see who did that?
The roads seemed empty with no “Central locking systems” of the car creating more noise than the cracker! The dogs barked then too but they also found a safe place to hide too. We spent more time on streets than indoors figuring out logic and techniques to burst crackers only to listen to grunts such as “Instead burn the notes itself!” by few over infuriated elders. The somehow offence had no meaning in our dictionary. The first sight of flower pot arranged very neatly over the compound only to set it off right after one another was the ultimate pleasure, somehow the joy was more than that of today’s ability of children to download a game from an ‘App store’.
The perfect turn of “Bhumi Chakra” was the testimony of the fact that roads were laid perfectly and they were tarred. In fact over the next three days the pile of cracker papers became a measure of economy and prestige, more the paper in front of your house, richer you were! I remember collecting papers from the neighbor’s house and dumping in front of mine just to prove the above point.
Left was just left and Right was just right then! though we used every second of those 3 days in 90’s to burst as many crackers we knew our ethics, BMP then (today’s BBMP) never had any complaints on us, we knew “where to dump waste, how to dump waste and how not to create a nuisance” because back then we never altered our “Silencers of bike” to emit as much as CO2 as possible nor we never used heaters or Refrigerators or were adamant to use AC’s only.
We walked every bit of the distance, car’s then were a rare sight and a simple sparkle in our hand was all that we needed, iPhones and PlayStation were not even in dreams.
We cleaned the roads ourselves and joined hands with every Hindu or a Muslim or Christian to play, our houses were not built on drainage nor our industries leaked their poisonous wastes into our rivers.
We celebrated the festival just as a festival in full spirit and not as any agenda! The only agenda for us was to Enjoy!
I hope we one day get back to our very own 90’s Deepavali!