<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>How do you explain to a kid that she/he won’t be able to get even a sparkler this Diwali while the cousin living outside the ‘sanitised’ area of NCR can burst crackers to heart’s content?As a parent, you would have justified in your mind the Supreme Court’s ruling banning the sale of firecrackers in NCR by conjuring up images of a smoke-enveloped Delhi, people wearing face-masks, an old man breaking into asthmatic coughs. But tell that to a child who till last year was firing rockets into the sky aiming at Mars (with the firm belief that at least a couple would reach), and she/he will stare at you, bewildered. “Is Diwali cancelled?” would be the obvious question.No, Diwali has not been “cancelled,” but it has been told to shut up. The ground for that is not solid – it’s actually air. Delhi virtually choked last year under the twin forces of crop-stubble burning in neighbouring states and the normal celebration of Diwali. Hence, the legal ban on the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region. One respects the honourable court’s decision for its vision and toughness, but one also asks – what will we do then on Diwali night?Lights up, diyas arranged, decorations done, new clothes adorned, mithai consumed, gifts exchanged, plastic smiles smiled – all done by 7 pm. Now what? You can’t possibly repeat the cycle, so what do you do? Single malt? Yes, perhaps… considering its repeat value. But what’ll the all-dressed-up-but-nothing-to-burst seven-year-old do? The ubiquitous iPad comes out from somewhere, a bean bag emerges, a fizzy cold drink is popped open, and hey… ‘Happy Diwali’ is over.This could have been Happy Anyday.Couldn’t at least Diwali day been spared from the ban on the sale of firecrackers? A few hours in the evening designated for a bit of mindless fun? I am sure these were debated by the honourable judges, but then we, the people of NCR, are notorious for not following strictures and timelines. Who’ll go and stop the family living in house no. XX in Geeta Colony from bursting ‘chocolate bombs’ at 11 pm? A potent argument, considering that we revel in disobedience.There have been repeated strictures on fireworks during Diwali – from courts, from law-enforcement agencies and from Mother Nature herself. But we flouted them again and again. This time the doctor (read court) has decided to opt for surgery. Therefore, we are in no position to complain – we have brought it upon ourselves.Now go and tell that to the kids…(The author is Editor-in-Chief of DNA and father of a 7-year-old boy)

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What to do on Diwali evening? No cracker of an idea