Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Diwali Complaints

What is someone, who always finds a fault in everything around him, called? Given a chance, what would you call such a person? People I know, seem to use my name to refer to such people "...this guy in my office never likes the snacks given. He just has to be a Vishnu and complain to anyone who cares to listen..." or "...and then after all that she started being a Vishnu about the price..." or.....ok guess you got the idea.

I am still trying to figure out if being a synonym for something, perceived to be negative, is a positive or not. I started a good couple of decades back and this 'figuring out' has sort of been one of my perennial time pass activities. In the meanwhile, I have also evolved. Not just in terms of stretching longitudinally and latitudinally while adding more than proportional weight but also in terms of mental and gray hair growth. With the experience of having been through a couple of decades worth of evolution, I think I am justified in complaining about whatever it is that I complain about these days. Diwali, for example.

Agreed, it's a festival and a good looking one at that. But that is no reason for not having any complaints. In fact, the name itself is where I start having problems. Is it Diwali or Deepavali? "It is both because both mean the same thing in different languages" comes back the smart answer from folks who happened to receive a larger share of brain matter than me in the great gray matter lottery. Ok, single festival, different names - explained.

How about the reason behind the festival? What and why are we celebrating? Thinking about this takes me back to my school days. Those were the days when I had to learn and write essays about this festival. Of course, those days the concentration was more on writing the essay rather than being bothered about what was being written. But, like I said before, I am a much more evolved being these days and that makes a difference.

Anyway, what I had learnt all those years back was that there are quite a few reasons for this festival (all steeped in mythology but then what festival worth its name is not?). From the top of my head, I remember there being a couple of prominent reasons - one, a story linking the festival to the story of Lord Rama (Ramayanam), another one linking it to the story of the 5 Pandava brothers (Mahabharatam). You might be thinking "Ok, you have the reasons for the festival. What is the problem then?" The problem is something called chronology. Chronologically these stories didn't happen together. Ramayanam happened first, followed by the Mahabharatam. There was a huge time gap between the two, the sort that usually gets described as 'yawning'. So my question is, "How can two separate events, which happened at two points having totally separate time co-ordinates, be the reason for celebrating one festival?” No one has attempted answering this one yet.

Diwali is the festival of lights. It looks extremely fetching with lamps being lit and fire works being set off. And that is what my final complaint is about. Do the fire works have to be so damn loud?


Meghna said...

Hi Vishnu,
This was really humorous! can't you help being so curious? The fireworks are good when they are loud so let them be that damn loud! don't you light them too?

Have a great Diwali! Aapki deepavali khush aur mangalmay ho!

Greetings from

me said...

Hi Meghna.

To answer your question, no I don't light the fire works. I gave it up some years back when I learnt about the child labor involved. Plus, given how expensive fire works are, I have always considered it to be an easy way of burning money!!

Anyway, hope you had a lovely Diwali. :o)