It was a blockbuster Diwali. For The Australian Indian Crowds, Sandalwood, the British People, the White Goods Retailers, Car manufacturers and so many others! Then there were clay Diya lamp makers and their cart retailers. They too made it a grand Diwali. Everyone but the firecracker makers had a great Diwali ostensibly because of the Air pollution they would cause; The irony is that those who banned their use, employed Cars bought at discounted rates during the festival. And used them throughout the year causing more pollution than a day’s use of firecrackers would! The State and the Central Government too made a killing on these vehicles. Literally, not just figuratively! It is the triumph of ignorance over knowledge. But that’s common! Ignorance is bliss.
Of course, there is the matter of sound caused by the Firecrackers – some of them. Animals get petrified, even as humans are esterified. But the joy is in the light, not just the sound and fury of a Firecracker because of its significance, and we are just learning that – by compulsion. And though a new wave of Covid brought more death and a need for more light, this time on the pyre, it was truly a celebration of Light over darkness – for those alive.
At the start of the Diwali week, our life was lit by a humdinger of a Cricket Match, the India-Pakistan Super 12 Clash in ICC’s T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Everyone who watched, played, organised, and adjudicated it deserved a hamburger after. That’s how jampacked the Melbourne Cricket Ground was. 90,000 Indian and Pakistani fans – not clear how many of each, (also Australians of either origin, who may sometime in the future, become the Prime Minister of Australia and we can take credit for that) cheering in calm alternation, right till the very end and singing and dancing to the hit track Pasoori in unison after the match. A sight to see, to feel to experience as did 1.4 Crore people through their TV sets as the match reached its climax. For the unaware, Pasoori is a hit track from Coke Studio’s season 14, sung by Pakistani singers Ali Sethi and Shae Gill and that made it even steven. A parallel in India or Pakistan or even Leicester in Great Britain may never be seen. Because Britain is no longer Great, but just a United Kingdom that is falling apart? We will come to that matchbox later.
India won due to a little bit of luck that comes with the blessings of Gods and Goddesses on this auspicious occasion, but also the skill, self-belief, and presence of mind of individuals in a team game and the team itself. Virat went Viral after the match. He was also viral before the match but in a more Covid/morbid way. By his own admission at the end of the game, he had been under pressure. The last two years were lean. He gave up captaincy just before a forgettable World Cup campaign in Dubai and no sooner had he done that than his position in the T20 team came under siege.
As he said post-match with a bit of sarcasm, naturally – Thank you for the support guys when things were not gelling! It paid off today! You are the greatest! Those who did not support him in his most vulnerable moments were cowering in their seats, but luckily for them, the cameras were focused on his excitement about the win. Heartening too was seeing India’s Cricket legends, now in their 70’s prancing in joy. They get a high five on the Yo-Yo test score. Yo Bro! that’s the way to go! More than the Stadium’s lights, it was their smiles that lit up their faces, this Diwali.
But that’s what elation can do to you. It elevates you. Defeat on the other hand deflates you. But if you treat both the imposters just the same as Rudyard Kipling says in his famous poem If, then “ours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!” And Virat was, certainly that day.
Life has its ups and downs, and the important thing is when it’s down, that’s when you must try to stay up, work hard and take whatever help you can get from the unseen above you! All three will come together someday – the staying up, blessings, and hard work. But you must believe every day is the day when it will even though Diwali comes once a year! Just light your lamp every day! But check the oil in the Diya the previous night.
Diwali is the time to reel it in! Catch the big fish! And Sandalwood did just that. They used a surreal reel, to reel it in. Just before Diwali, the Kannada Film industry also known as Sandalwood had lost its perfumed existence, before and after KGF-Chapter 2. But Tulunadu Hero Rishab Shetty came up with Kantara. Released on 30 September, it celebrated Good over Evil just in time for Diwali. The good was seen in its box office collection which has made it the second highest-grossing film of all time in Sandalwood, outstripping KGF Chapter 2. It also received critical appreciation from stars, celebrities, and the public across the country – taking Sandalwood to the rest of the country and helping them understand that Kannada is also a language to reckon with, not just Hindi, which was just as well, given the “prescribed” rhetoric these days. The evil was crushed by excellent direction, special effects, storyline and of course acting. It doesn’t get a chance to peep even! That’s how good the film is.
Back to Britain; not Great Britain. Can’t say it’s Great Britain anymore. Can we? And why should we? India’s economy has surpassed it at USD 3.83 Trillion, and its inflation is double India’s; Its population of 68 million is 5% of India’s and Indians form 2.5% of that population! Its per capita income is much more, and it’s the British-Indian population that contributes a lot to that figure.
Traditionally the Queen, sorry the King, (it’s easy to get confused between the King and his mother because for a long time, he was his mother!) don’t celebrate Diwali, but they well might from now on, for a Brit who is a vicariously “Indian” by religion, tradition, eating habits, long ago descent, by in law, is now the Prime Minister by law – their law. And he will make Britain Great again. He will take Britain past India again in terms of the Economy and will hopefully send all the defaulters and Diamonds of Indian Origin Back! And hopefully, keep the legitimate immigrants who want to leave India for England permanently – But will there be any? the reasons they have for migrating are gone, aren’t they? Because politically now it’s all the same! And he can’t be de-faulted for that!
For sure, there won’t be any Booze Parties at No 10 Browning Street, but be sure to control your impulses to taste those leftover Diwali Sweets if you are visiting. What happens to Ukraine, U cran wait and see! But Brits of all origins will surely be able to light their heaters this winter, because of their Diwali Gift from India! That is the power of Diwali.
What we must be glad about, however, is that the East India Company has become the West India Company, returned to Britain, and conquered it. Coming up is a Free Trade Agreement, different from what the East India Company Signed! One of the Memes doing the rounds is that we now have a sequel to the hit movie Amar Akbar Antony with the current triumvirate of the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London, and the King! And why not? It is this capacity to integrate diversity in its politics and society that makes Britain Great, not its wealth, looted or otherwise earned! Remember that song? Oh! to be in England? That was in April, We are now in October and it’s still valid!
Diwali is the time when our good sense is discounted by white goods (mostly household electrical appliances) retailers and Car Manufacturers. Both are thrilled with their prosperity, while consumers are thrilled by their perspicacity! And before you know it you have a new car and a washing machine at home. But when you bring it home, it’s a long drive in winding traffic and returning the car, if not the washing machine does cross your mind. With time on your hands (besides the steering wheel) you will realize that While you can park the washing machine at home, you will have no place to park the car! And the washing machine, every time you use it, it cleans your wallet too. But you don’t mind. You will work harder outside the home instead of at home. Same difference. And the Washing Machine never gets old! or does it? you’ll know by next Diwali!
The lights of Diwali arrayed in their Clay Diya’s light our homes and dispel the darkness until the sun rises the following day, but sometimes I wonder if they lift the shroud of darkness in our minds and our hearts. The abuse of all types that makes headlines every day is a reminder, that the fire must burn within, not only without and without a sound. We must replenish the oil that keeps it going with positivity, and love and not extinguish it with hate and negativity. We must let the Sweets sweeten our mood forever, not just for a while, for then the sourness returns.
Let’s all do that, have a happy Diwali, and look forward to a wonderful year ahead.
This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.