Safety and sanity have emerged catchwords for a section of GenX this Deepavali. P. SUJATHA VARMA finds out more

I cannot imagine letting the day pass off without bursting fireworks Kavita The larder is loaded overnight with eclectic Deepavali delights that sweeten up the air. Sweet cravings and mid-night binges get the better of even an obsessed calorie-watcher, causing the diet chart to go topsy-turvy. But don't you worry about festive flab, as there are ways to survive the sweetmeat invasion and the annual gastronomic overdrive. Its Deepavali -- the time to bestow unconditional love, warmth and empathy. The festival calls on individuals to be humane and not just human. Possessed by the boom and bang factors of the festival, city-dwellers scurry towards cracker shops that pop up at almost every vantage point. Traditional and popular sweet shops like Swagruha Foods and Sweet Magic get busier catering to the growing demand for the assortment of sweets they offer.

Emerging breed

Emerging amid a potpourri of the festival flavours is a strong emotion in a section of the GenX. The youngsters have come to realise the need for a Deepavali, which means more than just food, fun and frolic. "It should cleanse our ideas and utterances that go against the spirit of brotherhood; we need a festival of lights that can illuminate dark nights so that people can usher in a safer and saner future," says U. Divya, a student of Triveni Mahila Degree Kalasala. "This year, Deepavali will be special at least for a small group of people who are determined to serenade the true spirit of the festival," chips in her friend Tejaswini, an intermediate student from Sri Chaitanya. For this diverse group, of mostly teenagers, it is essentially an attempt at re-interpret, translate and internalise the essence of the festival. "This time, the fun quotient will quadruple into something more concrete: A celebration of the oneness that exists despite wide and varied differences," says L. Pragna emphatically.

Divergent views

While some find the development a welcome change, there are others who are gearing up for an ostentatious Deepavali. "We sweat it out and earn well so that we can live life to the fullest," 19-year-old Kamlesh tries to be logical. A majority endorses his views. "Deepavali is a festival of lights and sounds. I cannot imagine letting the day pass off without bursting fireworks. Without them, the festival would lose its sheen," wonders M. Kavita of Nalanda College. Ajay, a B.Ed student, pleads to present a divergent view. "I agree it is not possible to ensure a noise-free Deepavali. But time demands such environment-friendly efforts." Noise can be unpleasant and unwanted by the listener. Excessive noise causes distraction, annoyance and even torture to a tired or sick person. Depending on the intensity and duration of sound, the hazards are still more serious, reminds a thoughtful AjayDeepavali marks the change of season from the lean, rainy season to the post-harvest season of bountiful. It is a season for generosity - for giving, receiving and exchanging gifts. The mood of the season touches all sections alike. Elders in the family recall the good old days when the festival was celebrated with religious fervour and complain in the same breath about how traditional diyas have yielded place to garish multi-coloured electric bulbs. In this backdrop, it is delightful to witness the emergence of a new breed of youngsters who are obsessed with looking beyond the mundane to bring in a change favourable to the mankind.