The Creaking Tree Society

What not to do this Deepavali, if you have a child

If you think lighting up a few sparklers and waving them about is a cute thing to do, think again

So you had a child and it’s been a few years, and reality is now dawning on you. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But by now, you and your spouse have realised that slipping out for a movie is no longer that easy, and going to a bar with the child could lead to you being arrested. Like most other things, it’s a non-bailable offence, and the only way to avoid having electrodes attached to your private parts by the police is to confess immediately.

The child is now old enough to celebrate Deepavali, and after several years, you finally have the time to celebrate as well. You can afford some sweets. You are no longer spending a fortune on diapers. You have become far more used to sudden eruptions of bodily fluids. But other problems are looming on the horizon. You need to start saving for college fees. Not to mention music fees, chess fees or tennis fees, depending on which talents you imagine your child is displaying. Eventually, the child will have to get married, and you will have to feed people. Try to discourage the child from making too many friends, so that the guest list is smaller.

Meanwhile, you have to tackle Deepavali. Whatever you do, and I cannot emphasise this strongly enough — do not buy fireworks. The prejudice against fireworks is deep-rooted in today’s urban children. Brainwashing starts from an early age. Originally, it was the elite schools which promoted this malpractice, but now all of them are doing it. The children themselves have become more conscious. Greta Thunberg is constantly misleading them on Twitter. You and I were raised in a kinder, gentler time. We knew that we had only one planet, but we were not worried. It seemed big enough.

Today’s children are much more conscious. A child as young as four will snatch that plastic bag from your hands and burst into tears. You might think that lighting up a few sparklers and waving them about is a cute thing to do. You may try to put one into your child’s tiny little hands. Avoid the temptation. Just remember that you have been bursting hundreds of crackers, dumping millions of plastic bags, and using aerosol deodorants for several decades. Thanks to school propaganda, the child is aware of this. The child is also aware that he or she has many more years to live on the planet, while you have one foot in the grave. Before you light up that sparkler, ask yourself a simple question: Do you really want to put a red-hot lethal weapon in their hands?

In Shovon Chowdhury’s most recent novel, Murder With Bengali Characteristics, the Chinese rulers of Bengal discover that firework displays are not enough to keep Bengali people happy

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:41:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/satire-how-to-celebrate-diwali-with-a-child/article29756665.ece

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