Our very own festivity of hues, lights and dance
Like always my wonderings never end... Is it promoting 'idol worship' or 'animal labour' or some other social evils?
Economically it definitely a mixed ripple across all 'Bongs' (I purposely use the term as as the term 'Bengalis' have been gulped down by cosmopolitanism back in 1982 or earlier) ... Well its another story.
The purchasing side of the economics, in this time of the year (or from couple of months back) is in a mood to splurge. And it does not stop with proverty. In its like 'drinking life to the lees' experience, to drop in the last penny for a few celebratable days of the year.
The selling side ofcourse, puts in but in terms of efforts. They gather whatever they get, in whatever form or quality and present infront of people (not necessarily customers), who most of the time are totally unsure about their need or credit-limit, for pounding on them. This cuts across clothes, food, gifts, sweets (yes somehow its different from food too) and everything else. I dare not forget convayance too, in a time when it premiums anywhere between 15-300 percent more in the city (oh the city here is called Calcutta, the very old English loving place - not nearly even the city of joy)
There remains millions if not more, forgotten and lost stories of sadness, remorse and loss. Which are either ignored as trifle or considered a blessing (in disguise of curse) by the ten-fold goddess.
It is mostly found that the concern of livelihood or well-being among the celebrating population (which engulfs close to all) is transformed into a surprising concern of showcase-ability or merrymaking to the limit, where the care for self enjoyment wins over all others. The social eyebrow is also remain un-raised in all such cases. This goes on again in all forms. Starting with the most competent traffic rulers. The simplest examples start from the heavily trafficked roads which hardly can remain on the verge of a collapse in other parts of the year and narrowed (if not completely blocked) but semi-permanent 'pandals' (temple look-alike tents). These structures vehemently block travel possibilities, at a time when vehicular movements (even for those who need it - like ambulances) are of utmost importance. The traffic situation prefers to allow such events with complete legal/political support and people are either dumb or mum In fact any amount of grievance or complaints about such instances are considered as stupidity or party-spoilers.
The next most affected are people suffering from non-sound-tolerable diseases. The noise level of the city post noon starts from squeals of merrymaking to loud megaphone music. The average time to sleep shifts towards morning, for most of the crowd and so does these sound engines. The regulations, if at all in existence, are all on paper and seldom pops out of it. These couple of instances were just examples and not the end of the list.
[The journal is currently under composition]