Dear Friends,

It feels great to be back. Doesn’t it?

Diwali has just got over but the hangover is going to stay for a while what with pending work and friends still to greet and thank.

Write Space has new friends once again this time. Sudha Sharma has joined us. Welcome aboard Sudha.  We are sure you will love it here!

Also joining us is Geetashree Chatterjee. It is a lovely world out here Geetashree and we would love to share thoughts and emotions with you. Welcome aboard!

We have another friend who has joined us this fortnight. He is Om Prakash Narayan. Welcome aboard Write Space Om. We all look forward to reading your blogs.

Wishing you all the prosperity and peace that Diwali has to offer.

Happy Reading. And Commenting too!

After all, it is your comments that encourage us to carry on….

Until the next fortnight…

Write Space Admin
Since only 10 write-ups can be posted per page, we were unable to post the write-up by Shail Raghuvanshi. Hence, her post appears under the editor’s post itself. From next fortnight onwards, we shall be having only 9 posts selected out of the many that we get.

FAMILY FAIR: Reflections at Diwali Time by Shail Raghuvanshi

Celebrating Reflections!

My son was filled with the Diwali spirit. We had picked him up from school instead of the school bus doing so and that itself was an enthusiastic start for the Diwali season as far as my son was concerned.  It was Dhanteras and he was making huge plans of making his parents buy a lot of things, fireworks included. Infected with his childlike enthusiasm we carried on too. We came home exhausted but seeing that big smile on his face, we were happy. Of course, I knew that a lot of work awaited me but then, that was nothing new.  As my son went through his clothes and firecrackers for the nth time, the idealist, the writer, the social enthusiast rose up in me and I began telling my son about the dangers of crackers (this was done the year before and the year before that already). This time, of course, I thought I should make him aware of little children like him slogging away in dingy rooms making these firecrackers and not being able to burst them themselves all because of poverty.

I think I got carried away a wee bit because I heard my husband’s voice from the bedroom, “Shail, don’t you think he is too young for this? And what is the purpose of all this awareness bit when you have already bought him the firecrackers?”

Point noted. Had I not as a child loved bursting crackers? Those sparklers, the bombs, rockets, the anaars and what not? Should I be depriving my son of the same joy that I used as a right when young only because I was more aware of things now?  When would it be the right time to say ‘No?’

I don’t know.

Elsewhere, in my immediate neighbourhood, when I went visiting my neighbor with a pack of sweets for Diwali, she got talking. Her 65 year old mother was suffering from stones in her kidneys for years. Every time they would remove the stones, new ones would prop up again.  A recent scan had shown four of them. And this was accompanied by some kind of urine infection too. My neighbour’s 12th Std son was preparing for his final exams.  His mother was working hard with him to prepare him for a good future (read that as, study well to get marks not less than 95 in every subject). My neighbour was in a conflict – she knew that her mother was very sick and needed her; she also knew that this period was a crucial juncture for her son’s future. So, what was she supposed to do? Leave her son and take care of the mother who nurtured her or, leave her mother and take care of the son whose future was very important for him? I was in no position to advise her because I was not in her shoes. What would I have done had I been in her place? Sacrificed my son’s future? Or relented from doing my duty as a daughter?

I don’t know.

I know what the loss of a parent means, having gone through it myself. I know what it means not being able to say the words that mattered most only because I thought that tomorrow is another day. But tomorrow, does it come the way it should? Does it come at all?

I don’t know.

Diwali had arrived with all its glory and splendor. This time, I prayed not just for myself and my family. I also prayed for all those who were deprived of the joy of the Diwali season. I prayed for love and peace everywhere. I prayed for a safe and happy Diwali.

And yes, in spite of being aware of the little children working hard to make these firecrackers brighten up OUR lives, and being deprived themselves, I did join in my son’s enthusiasm. After all, Diwali was all about spreading joy.  As far as realization goes – maybe, I will talk it over with my son some other day…..


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35 responses »

  1. Dear Bhargavi.

    Thanks for the wishes. There are some questions that need to be thought over really deeply while others just don’t have answers at all….

  2. Bhargavi says:

    A very belated Diwali wishes, Shail.

    As for the quesrtions asked, is there any answer to it, unless others offer help.

    Regarding the awareness, about the child labour in bundling up the fire-crackers, it is better to bring joy to them indirectly, by buying ‘their’ products. Just a thought!

  3. I agree Vimala. Yes, there are some carry-overs from last week. So, these I will be posting any way.

    For now, fortnightly seems the best I think….

    Thanks for sharing your reflections Vimala…

  4. vimala madon says:

    Actually, when I give it a second thought, maybe fortnightly is best. The spill-overs can be carried over to the next issue. Weekly can be thought of when the articles really keep pouring in and need quicker disposal.

  5. vimala madon says:

    It has been made clear from the beginning that nothing is compulsory with writespace. A weekly issue should not make people think otherwise; I for one would not be able to contribute every week but I would be happy if my article is published when I said it.
    Just thinking aloud from this end also.

  6. vimala madon says:

    Dear Shail,

    In the true spirit of Diwali my sons actually, on their own, decided to celebrate the festival without any crackers, not even ladis, but with lots of sparklers, catherine wheels, flowerpots and other like fireworks. For one thing, they are adults now, but the thought was commendable, for it showed that they were thinking beyond their own enjoyment. Of course the fact that our aging dog trembles with fear if she just hears a bike backfiring, and that her remaining days are limited, clinched the decision. Another thing, with the municipal sweepers cleaning the streets once in more than 15 days, I was able to clear the stretch of road outside my gate, withing 15 mins the next morning.

    Regarding limits on publication of articles, if the no. exceeds the limit, perhaps you could think of a second issue the following week? Would that work?

    • Dear Vimala,

      This is something very good that your sons are doing whatever be the motivation. At least, there is a start somewhere. Here, I have not even begun except to reflect and mention something to my son who is not old enough to grasp reality that well..

      As far as posting an overflow of articles at Write Space is concerned, maybe, making it a weekly seems a good idea.

      Let me ponder about it. I don’t want to make writing for Write Space a compulsion.. A weekly post might do that. It is just a thought…

  7. knot2share says:

    Dear Shail

    It feels very intimidating to write something amidst such great writers. Just wanted to say that this space is getting more and more exciting with each fortnight. Every blog has something to offer to a reader. The flow of expressions, interweaving of the words, food for thought, food for the stomach, picture of reality and lot more…all these becoming too overwhelming at times. Awestruck and numb, not knowing what to say. Loving it!

    • Dear Shree,

      To see you here is always a pleasure. And we all are here just sharing thoughts, views and emotions.

      I am happy that you are enjoying your visit to Write Space. Maybe, you too can share something someday here?

      Thanks Shree!

  8. Irene says:

    A heartfelt blog Shail. Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali.

  9. deepika says:

    Hi Shail.
    Happy diwali to you and your family.
    Yes, sometimes we are unable to find answers of many questions but these unanswered questions compel us to think deeply and live happily.

  10. Shernaz says:

    When we were growing up, Shail, perhaps ignorance was bliss. Today every second choice we have to make is fraught with moral and social undertones. We are constantly asking is it right or wrong? Should I or should I not? To eradicate child labor, we need to eradicate poverty – something that has been shouted about from roof-tops for the past sixty plus years. We leave it to the government and laws, because individually we can do only so much. Finally it seems, the moment wins, not the issue. That is life. We do our best and we learn along the way. Children too must be allowed to make their own choices when they can do it with perfect understanding. Next year’s decisions could be very different from this year’s. A contemplative blog as usual. Thanks Shail, for this lovely space.

    • Dear Shernaz,

      I agree. Sometimes, ignorance is indeed bliss. But surrounded as we are with so many things happening around today, it becomes difficult to not notice things like poverty, child labour and the like.
      I want my child to enjoy his festival but also be aware that all are not as fortunate like him. I suppose I should allow time to take the course as you have suggested although I still feel that he must understand how truly blessed he is….

  11. Pramod says:

    Marvellous way of putting things.
    Gripping till the end

  12. Beyniaz says:

    Absolutely superb blog, as usual. I still love fire crackers despite knowing about the noise, pollution and child labour issues.

  13. A.Hari says:

    Hi Shail,

    Nice to know that write space is now being flooded with quality articles.

    Reg this child labour, this exists in every industry hotel, construction etc. We need evolve proper laws to ensure fair wages and better working conditions to children instead of totally banning them. These children are compelled to work due to their poverty. They will continue to work irrespective of any ban.

    Eagerly expecting good ones from new friends who have joined write space,

    A.Hari

    • Dear Hari,

      I am glad that you like the way Write Space is coming up. Had it not been for the articles of these lovely writer friends, it would not have been possible.

      Yes, child labour exists everywhere. We need effective laws and more than that, we need to deal with the core problem and that is removing poverty. When that will happen God only knows.

      Hope to see you here often..

  14. Indrani Talukdar says:

    A very nice and racy write-up, Shail. Happy Diwali, once again 🙂

  15. vimala ramu says:

    Look at that. Just a week back you were asking people to send articles. Now there are so many that they are crowding yours out. So, next week onwards it will be selection ?
    I am sorry I am still too full of Diwali mood to think of anything else. For us, we have Diwali today also (Balipadyami)

    • Dear Vimala, Yes, it will be selection from next week onwards in case the number of articles exceed the required number. I am sure all of you will be contributing just as usual.

      Have a lovely Balipadyami!

  16. Sriharsha says:

    Hi Shail,
    Diwali is a festival of joys and happiness.
    But there was this long going discussion I had wid a friend of mine.
    Is it right to burst crackers or not.
    I was against it but my friend countered it that we anyways do such hell lot of pollution.She was of the opinion that we can do other things like car pooloing,electricity saving and a lot more.
    Anyways whats a diwali without crackers.
    I couldn’t reason out on this.
    tc.

    ~Harsha

    • Thanks dear Harsha. This is an age old conflict about bursting crackers. One can convince oneself but then, how do you impress on the minds of little children that little children like them suffer?

      Yes, it is difficult to imagine Diwali without bursting crackers but not an impossibility either.

      Nice of you to stop by Harsha..

  17. Sneha says:

    Great to see another issue of Writespace4iw.

    Well, Happy Diwali to you and your family.
    You’ll know when the right time comes 🙂 trust me. Also, the dilemma you mention about life intrigues us writers all the time…no one could go to the answers yet though! Maybe some things are better kept a secret! 🙂

    • Dear Sneha, Thanks for your Diwali wishes!
      As far as the dilemma part is concerned, yes this is an age old conflict not just for writers but people belonging to other professions too.
      We need to just have the faith….

  18. Dear Shail,
    There ARE no answers to many things in life – and THAT is what makes this life so interesting and intriguing at the same time!

    • Dear Om, yes.. sometimes there are no answers how much ever we may try. Reasoning doesn’t help here either, so leaving certain questions to time to test and give the answers is better. Of course, being patient and having patience works here but do all of us have it….

  19. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Shail, two very ticklish and thought provoking questions. Are there any perfect answer for any question in this world ? Everything is so relative.
    On Diwali firecrackers, let the realization come from within. Let a child enjoy his blissful ignorance before maturity and awareness take over.
    The second situation is more complex. It is so difficult to steal time and most of our must dos remain undone. And one is left in a fix…….still pondering over the same.

    • Dear Geetashree, Exactly, some questions just cannot be answered and that is so very frustrating especially when the situation is very conflicting and the persons involved very dear to one. The same applies for the values and principles that are important in life. Yes, time will teach. I just hope it is not too harshly though……

  20. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Thank you very much for accepting me with wide arms and giving me space to spill out thoughts and emotions long locked in some dark unreachable corners of my mind!

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