Friends, I wrote about our eco-friendly fireworks before we headed off to Dharamshala to celebrate Diwali there. I had plans to publish it from there but could not, due to being on the road for most part – exploring the enchanting place from dawn to dusk!
Sharing couple of pictures of mesmerizing Dharamshala. I'll share more later with the nature-filled, soulful stories. (smiles) Continue to read about our artsy fireworks!
We returned from there the day after Diwali and one by one – our close and extended families that were here with us for Diwali – bid us goodbye. My in-laws returned to Sagara (in Karnataka). Sis-in-law and her family returned to Bangalore.
Being used to living in a nuclear family, I must confess that I was initially a little wary of hosting and managing day-to-day affair for so many people – we were 10 people, including the kiddos and then there were other guests coming over to meet and greet.
But, you know what – inviting them all for Diwali and traveling together was the best decision Avie and I have taken in recent times. The connection that we all formed by being together for such a long time, could not have been formed any other way. Not by e-mails or telephone conversations for sure; not even by meeting for a day or two.
I am sure they felt this way too, as my sis-in-law's father-in-law said – when departing – "We're a family now". (smiles). I think this was said in a genuine, heart-felt way. Because, come to think of it – often we become part of a big family by default and not by choice. And, more often than not, those relationships do not grow beyond their 'formal definitions' because we tend to not think of them like we think of our relationships with close friends – informal, like-minded, fun.
Whereas, it's quite possible that we may find a like-minded friend in our extended families. All we need to do is invest some time, thought and heart.
Alright – I digressed quite a bit. So, let me quickly get back to the post about our eco-friendly Diwali fireworks.
Here it is. Enjoy and share your thoughts and words below. I love chatting with you in the comments section. (more smiles!)
Written on Oct. 22, Saturday
Fireworks have become so synonymous with Diwali – as if Diwali is all about them and nothing else.
Well, yeah, they're a great spectacle to watch and they soar our spirits high, but, have we ever paused to think of the deadly effects all these fireworks cause in the way they pollute our air, land, water and health?
It's so obvious, is'n't it – that all the suspended toxic particles caused from crackers and fireworks will trigger asthma, lung diseases headaches, eye infections and so many more health concerns – especially for children, adults and pregnant women.
Read this article if you want to know how exactly are fireworks a grave threat to the environment and our health.
Why then are we so addicted to this form of celebration?
There are many earth-friendly as well as creative ways to nurture the essence of this Festival, which is – positive beginnings and lighting of hope, prosperity, knowledge and well-being.
I find it sad that the tradition of lighting clay lamps is now 'upgraded' to electric lights showing off our city skylines. I hardly see people lighting up their balconies, terraces and patios with rows of lighted clay lamps that we used to – as kids.
Oh, how I relish that ritual of first worshipping seven clay lamps and placing tiny portions of the dinner menu before each lamp, before proceeding to light up all the diyas around the house. That was such a special part of the evening. In fact -the most nostalgic part.
Well, the world has moved on! But, I prefer not to. I still prefer (and will always do) my clay dias over any form of electric lighting.
And, I will choose our artsy fireworks anyday over those pollutants that choke my respiratory passages.
Here's Pari's blow painting (with straw and also with hollow pen) to create the effect of fireworks on paper.
She also used a dropper to play with the food colours on paper. It was fun to see the drops smudge on the construction-paper sheets that I gave her.
I gave her some salt to sprinkle on the wet painting. I knew she will love the textures created by the salt on colour. We shook off excess salt to reveal interesting effect.
What could we have done with all the extra food colour that still remained behind. I gave her a bowl of ice cubes to drop colour on and watch the process and wonder all the while! She loved it.
Now, it was time to explore some science fun. She added spoons full of sale over the coloured ice. And, guess what happened?
The salt formed holes and crevices in the ice and turned them into textured beauties. So much sensory fun for sight and touch.
The science part of it is that – when the salt melts the ice, it also forms crevices in it. The colour fills those crevices and creates beautiful sculptures. I first came across this science and art activity at The Artful Parent. I wish to do this again with Pari as she really enjoyed it. And, this time, we're going to try and make bigger sculptures with interesting patterns and tunnels.
Finally, Pari upcycled those artful sheets into greetings cards for her friends by writing colourful messages. Aren't they lovely?
And, inexpensive. And, ecofriendly? (smiles).
The other day, we also enjoyed fireworks in bottles. I highly recommend this for Diwali. (smiles)
Are you also trying to ensure a safe, earth-friendly Diwali for your family?
Please share any ideas that you think will be relevant for us all in this regard.