Rahul daCunha: Random Diwali thoughts
So, it's that Diwali week: three hugely significant days in the Hindu calendar, Rama's vanquishing of Ravana, and the triumph of good over evil
So, it's that Diwali week: three hugely significant days in the Hindu calendar — Rama's vanquishing of Ravana, and the triumph of good over evil. The city comes alive with lights and diyas and the new SC ruling of no firecrackers, and animals are grateful and families get together and play cards and eat sweetmeats, and no one works for three days and we receive hundreds of jpegs on WhatsApp, with messages wishing us 'on this auspicious day of Deepavali…' with diyas in different exposures, and they are mass messages sent by people we don't know, or don't interact with for the rest of the year. And, there is a day when we clean out our houses and hope that with all the dust and grime, all negative thoughts are removed, and then we hope that the nation will be cleansed of all the negativity and toxicity that have seeped into her pores in the last few years.
And, then, on November 8, along with celebrating New Year, we look at all our new banknotes and remember this day two years ago, when on the stroke of midnight, as we rid ourselves of demons, we also got demonetised, and we wonder, has there ever been a bigger disaster thrust upon the country? And, what is the price that has been paid, as cash and black money have returned into our lives with a vengeance, and businesses have been destroyed. So, what was the point of all the heartache? And not a moment of remorse.
Then, around this time, we can always expect that one or two of our celebrities will make daft comments. For example, while we are proud of Virat Kohli, for him to ask people to go live in other countries if they favour English/Australian batsmen over him is living in some weird bubble. Hopefully, one day, he will learn how to take criticism — because if this is how he responds when things are going his way, the mind boggles what will happen when the critics tear into him during bad times. Maybe, he needs to take a leaf out of the Dhoni handbook: grace under pressure when handling the annoying press.
Then, there's the other aspect of our lives that always pops up big time during Diwali: Bollywood. When films are good, we get a Badhaai Ho, when they are ghastly, there's Thugs of Hindostan. (Have always wondered when smart producers such as Aditya Chopra watch previews of disasters, is it too late to delay/re-edit stuff, especially when these are '300-crore decisions?)
Then there's another gent who lives in the celeb bubble — Aamir Khan — who smugly says of his character Firangi in Thugs of Hindostan: "I hope people will forget Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean after seeing my performance." Dude, a nose ring and kohl eyes don't make a pirate or a Sparrow or a good performance.
Anyway, dear reader, happy Diwali. As we ponder our future leading up to the 2019 general elections. And, Trump ponders the midterm results.
Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
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