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We are working this Diwali

entertainment Updated: Nov 05, 2010 01:46 IST
Namya Sinha
Namya Sinha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Diwali for us means a holiday. While most of us will be at home, greeting relatives and friends, making


, lighting up


and preparing for the Lakshmi


in the evening, there are many, who would be on routine duty.

Firemen’s Diwali

For the fire department, the Diwali night is the busiest day at work. “Diwali is one day, where we just cannot relax. Our loyalty is first towards duty. Celebrating festivals comes after that,” says, a firefighter of East District Fire Department, who did not wish to be named. “In the Diwali of 1991, when I was posted as station officer in Connaught Place, between 6-11pm, I attended 11 fire cases and two of them were very major ones. Festival time is very uncertain and indefinite. We attend the home puja for Diwali in uniform, and if the bells rings for emergency, we rush to do our duty.”

BPO workers’ Diwali

For call centre employees, especially who deal with customers in the USA and the UK (where the time zones are very different), Diwali night will be spent in office. Manisha Sharma (name changed), working with a call centre in Gurgaon, says, “I am working on Diwali night since I’m a voice agent. Generally, voice agents in the US and the UK have shifts starting at 6.30 pm and 2.30 pm respectively. Our office has organised some celebration that will go on till midnight. We have a choice to take a break of half an hour from the calls and enjoy the celebration and then get back to work. However, I plan to wear new traditional clothes to my office. At least, I need to enjoy a little bit of the celebrations.”

Cabin Crews’ Diwali

Manish Ahuja (name changed), a cabin steward with a private airline, has a flight to Turkey on the Diwali night. He says, “There is no scope of celebrating Diwali this year since I am scheduled to fly out of India on that night. So when others will be performing pooja, I will be serving passengers their dinner packets and looking at their other needs and requirements. This is not the first time that I will be working on Diwali night though. Two years back, I was flying wihtin India. That year, I was on duty from 1 pm and could manage to reach only past midnight. I have no complaints. It’s my job.”