Let me admit, I am no saint. It is not that I don’t believe in God but I just don’t agree with this idea of blind faith, idol worship etc. Fine these are my thoughts so people who don’t like this concept please leave this post now.
My pet peeve has always been the noise we equate with festivities. Every time we have some celebration, we must have noise and by noise I mean LOUD noise which increases exponentially very year not to mention the raunchy film songs that blare away. Having lived bang opposite not 1 but 3 marriage halls since birth, I am always complaining about the noise levels. Added to that festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi going on these days, only add to the noise pollution levels.
Air pollution – Crackers – the bane of it all. I have convinced Kavya not to burst crackers and she hasn’t done that in the past 5 or 6 years or more. Proud of that Kavya. But then why do we have to make such an ostentatious show of wealth by bursting crackers? The noise is deafening and worse the smoke causes so many problems. As I write it is the last day of the Ganesh festival and today is the immersion day when the idols are taken to the sea for immersion. The smoke emanating from the crackers bursting has already caused a problem with my nose and I have been sneezing endlessly with a running nose and watering eyes. Mind it, I haven’t stepped out of the house since 2 pm. Wonder what pain it is causing to senior citizens and the ailing patients. Not everyone has the luxury of an air-conditioned room which in any case doesn’t warrant immunity from all the effects.
Water pollution – This probably is a killer during these days of Ganesh Chaturthi. Idols made of Plaster of Paris are immersed in the waters. These idols are painted of course so don’t know what harmful metals / chemicals are being passed on into the sea. Dumping of flowers, coconuts etc. into the sea along with threads / wires / other pieces of decoration. What terrible effects on the marine eco system! Unimaginable. The same lord who for the past 10 days is worshipped (or whatever you can call the all of the above) is then washed ashore and picked up and dumped. Last year I did venture to Shivaji Park with my camera but was surprised to see it cleaned up already and besides large signs mentioning no photography! So in the guise of festivities what are we doing? Running away from harsh realities?
Coming to my own home – I put my foot down some 10 or 15 years ago and said no more idol to be brought home. For a year we did not get the idol home but then as expected both my Mother and wifey ganged up against me (or should I use the word emotionally blackmail me) and next year it was back to usual. Just that now they say that they are getting “eco-friendly” idols. I honestly don’t trust the shop keepers who sell these so called “eco-friendly” idols. Who knows what goes inside? Maybe next year is time again for me to orchestrate some kind of a protest at home to stop this blind idol worship. I would rather have the amounts spent in feeding someone needy. And talking of feeding people, next to our Mahim office, yesterday evening I saw that they were feeding the needy. Very nice of them no doubt but what were they using? Stryofoam plates which is carcinogenic and would never degenerate for years to come. So what are the good Samaritans i.e. the organisers thinking? Leaves many questions unanswered.
Best is for me to stop this “eco-friendly” idol worship at home and do my bit for the environment. As it is bursting crackers is out for Kavya so she is already doing her bit for the environment.