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Can we do something different?

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GEETA PADMANABHAN

It was Diwali and Niti, Manu and their parents discussed how they wanted to celebrate it. They came up with some great ideas…

Niti, Manu, dad and mom are discussing Diwali. They want to do something different this time. “It is already different,” said mom. “You cannot fire crackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., you can fire rockets only in an open ground.

Very loud ones are banned.” Niti was happy. “So you won’t wake us up at three in the morning and ask us to have a bath!” Manu said, “Timmy (dog) won’t run and hide under the sofa.”

Bright idea

Dad asked how much each of them wanted to spend on fire crackers. Niti thought for a while. She said, “We are not buying crackers made by kids, right? Why don’t we buy just a little and use the rest of the money for something else?”

Manu jumped up. “I know!” he said. “Let’s go on a trip in the car.”

Dad said, “I thought we all wanted a different Diwali. Why don’t we do something we’ve never done?”

Niti nodded. She wanted to take new clothes and sweets for the children in a village she saw during a field trip.

Manu jumped again. “Maybe we could paint a house in the village.”

A lot of ‘why don’t we-s’ followed. Dad and mom listened.

“Why don’t we spend the day with children in the orphanage?”

“Why don’t we go to an old age home? Some of the patties and thathas know old stories.”

“Why don’t we get together with friends and clean up the beach?”

“Why don’t we collect warm clothes for street children?”

Mom said, “Your cousins from abroad will be here, remember?”

“Then Diwali will start much earlier,” smiled dad.

Manu had an idea. “Why don’t we make small booklets of Diwali stories and distribute it? How many of us know the stories? Our cousins can take it back to the U.S. and give it to their classmates.”

Everyone nodded. Niti said, “Let’s make one more booklet. We will list the do’s and don’ts of celebration.”

“Do you know them?” asked mom.

Manu said, “Check this:

1. Have elders around when you fire crackers.

2. Keep buckets of water and sand nearby.

3. Use a long joss stick or wire to fire crackers on the ground.

4. Drop burnt ones into a sand pit.

5. Don’t pick up unburnt or half-burnt crackers.

6. Avoid silk and synthetic clothes. Use cotton dresses while firing crackers.

7. Don’t put them in bottles and tins.

8. If you have a burn injury, pour cold water on it, cover with a thin cloth and go to a doctor. Don’t use any other liquid.

9. Call 101 for any fire problem.

Dad and mom were happy. “That’s settled. No crackers made by kids. And booklets for all.”

What is different about your Diwali?


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