Shrill !

Mumbai is a cement jungle. Never is this fact more evident to you than the time of the festive season – Diwali. Diwali is the Hindu festival of Lights and is celebrated to mark the victory of light over darkness. Fireworks are essential part of this celebration.

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Uncopyrighted photos taken from internet, not clicked by me.

Sound Energy ↔ Light Energy

If the news media are to be believed, the cosmopolitan consumer is getting increasingly savvy about environmental damages inflicted by the smoke and noise from these crackers. The manufacturing pattern has seen a marginal shift from noisy crackers to the colorful and bright varieties. However, this change is hardly useful since these fancy fireworks are steeply priced and are therefore beyond the capacity of almost all of the users.

“Louder the better”, on the other hand, appears to be the mantra. The sound generated by the bursting crackers seems to be increasing year after year. There could be another factor. The sound of the exploding firecracker reverberates in the densely populated neighborhood for long duration rather than dissipating away quickly. This causes minor but frequent local vibrations in the structures, something which they might not be designed for. Logically this is bound to weaken the buildings. The coordination committee of our residential apartment passed a resolution banning exploding the firecrackers on terrace or from open galleries of apartments. Such measures will ensure that the noisy crackers are burst only in open areas.

I need not rattle about the harmful effects of the acutely toxic fumes produced by some varieties of firecrackers and the long retention time of the plumes of smoke emerging from them.

However the sound and air pollution apart, the most tormenting experience is bursting of these firecrackers at odd timings – waking up at 2 am or 2 pm (or whatever) by the deafening sound of a firecracker demonstrated the uncivilized attitude of the public.

Perhaps the people would realize this by themselves. I’m not sure if the bright lights could eradicate the dark forces, but the rowdy crackers would surely scare away the tranquil spirits.

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