Punekars take a step towards greener good this Diwali
Several families in the city opted to have a quiet celebration involving traditional rituals and a noiseless eveningUpdated: Oct 27, 2019, 17:09 IST
Rains continue to dampen festivities over the past few months. However, when it comes to Diwali, Punekars are not letting it affect their festive spirit and vibe. So, while the downpour may play havoc, families are doing their best to celebrate the festival of lights with zest and rigour.
From making faral (assorted snacks) at home to performing Lakshmi puja with family, residents are going the eco-friendly route this year.
Sanat Sarpotdar, 29, owner, Poona Guest House Express, “We do not use any decoration that contains plastic. We are not using excessive lighting (fairy lights) to save energy. Instead, we have started decorating with handmade diyas, keeping the tradition alive.”
Like Sanat, the Shinde family too is going for traditional rituals to stay rooted. “We are celebrating all five days with the whole family. It will include waking up early, and reliving childhood memories while having sweets. We will be dressed in traditional attires for all five days,” says Soham Shinde, a software professional.
Mayur Phalke, a network engineer, has a special celebration in store this year as he is blessed with a baby boy. “The celebrations are going to be quiet and simple. I want to set an example for the next generation. We have to take a step back and look at protecting our earth. So, it’s a cracker-free and plastic-free Diwali for me. We have also gone completely traditional with rituals at home.”
Families are also staying away from bursting fireworks and unnecessary use of lights. Sanat said, “It’s been many years since we stopped bursting fireworks of any kind to avoid noise and air pollution. Also, we live in an area that has many pets so we don’t want to cause them discomfort. We are using cardboard box packaging for giving out our Diwali faral and sweets.”
Shruti Suresh, 43, owner of Reenas Nail Care Studio, has not burst fireworks in the past five years and has pledged to go green. “We reuse our decor every year thus ensuring there is no wastage. Plus, we do not indulge in fireworks. We opt for earthen diyas and flower rangoli.”
Punekars have also opted for cloth and eco-friendly material lanterns that can be reused every year. Harshal Kuwar, 22, an MBA student, shares, “I have bought Diwali decorations that will last for a while. This way, I don’t have to buy new things every year and I am being fair to the environment too. I will also be using the traditional way to light diyas and will not go in for wax or plastic holders. We won’t be bursting any fireworks too.”
Tanvi Deshpande, 29, founder, TD and Co, shares, “At home since the past few years, we have been trying to be more environmentally inclined. We have been celebrating Diwali without fireworks for ten years. Using Indian manufactured Diwali lights instead of Chinese imports. These are more expensive, but last longer, hence wastage is less.”
For almost 18 years, Nidhi, 35 and Uday Shah, 47 have been celebrating Diwali without bursting any type of fireworks. “Since we are pet parents, fireworks are an absolute no for us. We have a big get-together on the Diwali day every year. Earlier we would use the paper/ thermocol/ plastic cutleries. However, since last three years we have switched to getting them from the caterer itself. Also, we have stopped putting tea light candles and have gone back to the conventional oil diyas.”
The day begins with an oil and uptan massage and a bath before sunrise. It is believed that the rituals conducted on this day helps liberate departed souls and also marks a win of good over evil
One of the main days of the festival, this day calls for an evening puja of goddess Laxmi. Family members come together, pray, offer special goodies to deities, burn oil lamps, light fireworks and share a feast of sweets and savouries.