The season of festivities is now coming to an end. City dwellers are just waking up from a slumber and getting ready to start going about their regular, mundane lives. The memories of the wonderful time we had with our friends and families are still fresh and we frequently replay them in our minds. I don't know about you, but in the past on several occasions, I have been caught smiling for no reason in the middle of serious meetings.
But besides memories, there is something else that lingers (specifically after Diwali) that is enough to keep reminding us about the festival. Yes, you guessed it! It is the blanket of smog that hides the sun for several days after the festivities are over. After all the awareness campaigns, we hope against hope that this year it would be different. This year it would be more about light than about the loud noise and smoke. But year after year we keep getting worse.
I know many of our friends have been thinking around these lines, but if while reading this, your mind protests that "Why is it only on Hindu festivals that people think of environment?", I would urge you to think beyond your ego. Is it really about religion? When we senselessly burst crackers, is your child spared the polluted air just because he is a Hindu? When birds fall silent after Diwali, when dogs stop barking, when streets are littered with garbage, when the air quality dips below the dangerous level, will you not be accountable for the kind of world you are creating for your kids? How will your sons and daughters, who you brought into the world to take your precious genetic line forward, remember you? As a responsible parent or as a shameless plunderer of resources who enjoyed the best possible environment in his / her youth, but left behind trash for the next generation.
We have all been guilty of this in the past, but from now on I have taken a pledge not to burst a single fire-cracker ever, and to try to convince everyone I can to do the same. Even my little nephew who is very fond of phuljharis and anaars. I urge you too to wake up. I urge you to shun firecrackers as well. They do not benefit anyone. And they were not really a part of traditional Diwali Celebrations anyway.
I can write a lot more on this topic. But we will hold that for the right moment. For now, here is a recap of October 2016.
In and Around the Himalayas
Following are some logs we published during the month. They will take you deep into the Himalayas. In fact, be ready to feel the chill as you go through some of them. Winters are now officially here.
Beyond the Himalayas
Talking of festivals, we also discussed the Pujo this month. We have made it a point to go Pandal-hopping every year, tasting the Bengali curries and fish. The sense of community, camaraderie never ceases to amaze us. We may not agree with all the practices related to Pujo (for example, millions of idols finding their way into the rivers every year), but we love the atmosphere. Once again, would urge some rethink here. Here is our account of the Pujo:
We also revisited the Haji Ali Gargah in Mumbai:
The Time-Turner Series
This series is our attempt to focus on the lingering memories and nostalgia of past trips. This month we attempted to relive two beautiful places - Newcastle in the UK and Dhanaulti also in UK (Uttarakhand). ;-P Okay I get it. That was a bit lame.
In the Spotlight
The artist we have chosen to feature this month is the one who doesn't need any "featuring". It is none other than the Writer, Historian, Art Curator, and Photographer, William Dalrymple. We simply love him in all his avatars.
Okay, we admit! There wasn't much hopping this month. But the one event we covered was totally worth it. Here you go:
Tips of the Month
The art of embedding images is much underrated. Here we celebrate this trick that optimises space utilisation and helps consolidate your traffic.