Ananda - Lighting up a life
by Life Positive
“There are many legends and stories associated with it, Koustub, but the story that I remember is my own. When I was a child, I used to get an allowance of fifty rupees to buy crackers, a decent amount by the standards of those days. Before one of the Diwalis, my uncle arrived from town and he gave me another fifty rupees. So, I had a total kitty of Rs 100, a grand amount. I was thrilled. My grandfather asked me to scale down my purchases as he felt spending so much on crackers was a waste and that it caused a lot of pollution. He told me that children also worked in those factories, which make crackers. He suggested that I save up some or spend the same in buying some gifts for others. I was annoyed with him and decided to go ahead with my plans, despite his advice.
“The next day, our school put up a play, Kabuliwala, based on Rabindranath Tagore’s short story.
“The story goes like this – A little girl, Minnie, has a unique friendship with the Kabuliwala, an Afghan pedlar, who sells spices and dry fruits. The Kabuliwala has a little girl in Afghanistan and sees her in Minnie. They often chat, joke, and play in the long afternoons. One day, the Kabuliwala gets into a fight and inadvertently kills a man. He is put into jail and Minnie misses him for a while but being a young girl, soon forgets him. He, however, does not forget Minnie. Many years later, he returns from jail to see her. On that day, Minnie is dressed up as a bride, ready to be wedded. The Kabuliwala is stunned. He had not realised how much time had flown. He wonders how his daughter is, what she must be doing now. But he has no money to go back to Afghanistan to see her. Minnie’s father decides to give him the money to do so; in the bargain, giving up the grand lighting he had planned for Minnie’s wedding.
“This story had a deep impact on me and only then I understood that true festivity is when we light up another’s life in whatever small way we can.
“I decided to buy a gift for my grandfather with the additional money. I still remember the intense joy we both experienced through this act.
“So, although the story of the Kabuliwala is in no way related to Diwali, it is this story which comes to my mind when I think about the true significance of Diwali, which is, again in Tagore’s words,
“The night is black
Kindle the lamp of LOVE
With thy life and devotion.”
Koustub and the other children were awed by Ananda’s experience and resolved to celebrate Diwali in Ananda’s way.
Apply it: Celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly, non- wasteful manner. Avoid crackers and celebrate by enjoying with your friends. Give or make gifts for your loved ones.
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