A new type of bang

9:41 AM

You always know when Diwali is around the corner, pretty much like all festivals nowadays shops are going all out with promotions, packaged sweets and nuts gifts set, chocolate boxes, cookie boxes, glittery painted diya shaped candles, kitschy sparkly decorations.
It’s fun, festive and I love it, this year we are heading to Lucknow to celebrate with family, so the planning for us is minimal (costlier thanks to inflated airline fares but less work nonetheless). So I am flipping through newspapers seeing the promotions and and Diwali goodies on offers feeling a bit detached, not that this is the point of this whole entry really, nope not at all.
The other day I was flipping through the paper checking the supermarkets promotional ads, you know the one where they list all their good bargains of the week, not surprisingly you find great discount on ghee, sugar, oil, sweets, cookies, chocolate, diya, and…Diwali guns.
Diwali GUNS! I knew they existed, I saw kids in my neighbourhood play with them, they are guns that make a cracking sound when you pull the trigger, not unlike the one I saw growing up that were destined to be used to play cowboy by boys, the only difference being in the shape, gone are the plastic revolvers, now you have: Machine guns and assault rifles, granted they are plastic and come in hues of neon pink, green and orange for the most (with few disturbingly too realistic). Until then well I shouldn’t be too shocked, toy guns aren’t a new invention, though must admit that the cracking guns using explosive powder have gone through restrictions in Switzerland, and kids anyway prefer water guns with girls taking equal part in the game as boys.
No what shocked me with this add, is associating Diwali with guns in the first place, Diwali is supposed to be the festival of light, though bursting crackers are also part of the tradition, in moderation crackers are fun for everybody, with proper safety measure it’s harmless. But the boys I saw playing with Diwali guns, are disturbingly too grown up in their play, they hold their buddies at gun point, mock shoot each other with some scary seriousness about it, with something that does contain some explosive in some case, infinite amounts sure but still explosives.
Call me old fashioned and conservative but aren't festivals such as Diwali about bringing happiness to people, prosperity and wealth into the house and bringing families together? isn’t pretending to shoot your siblings negating the spirit?
Just to say I’m not to crazy about certain new addition to the Diwali artillery (no pun intended), while boys will be boys and want to pretend fight, shouldn’t the gun remain innocent enough (and yes to those wondering I have issues with the realistic looking copies of toy guns sold in the west too), and shouldn’t guns be totally separated from any religious festival?


Blog Archive