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Real and virtual Diwali

Real and virtual Diwali
Highlights

The festival of lights is all poised to witness surrealism trending and replacing realism with tech-savvy revellers transporting themselves into a virtual world.  With the fascination towards virtual reality assuming obsessive proportions – specifically among the youth – the waning fancy for the traditional crackers is inevitable. 

The festival of lights is all poised to witness surrealism trending and replacing realism with tech-savvy revellers transporting themselves into a virtual world. With the fascination towards virtual reality assuming obsessive proportions – specifically among the youth – the waning fancy for the traditional crackers is inevitable.

An astounding range of gizmos and gadgets with mindboggling creations position you at the scene of action to experience and witness a spectacle of spectacular fireworks display. And, these concepts are no more rocket science with a plethora of innovations being developed and happening by the day to cater to every fantasy.

Technology is also proving to be a preferred alternative to the traditional fireworks – though it does give the real feel – with skyrocketing prices of the latter proving to be a dampener over the last few years. Of course, it does not mean that traditional crackers are on the verge of extinction or are proving to be a damp squib at the market place.

On the contrary, the makers of traditional crackers are also manufacturing value-added and innovated versions to counter the threat posed by technologies. Even the good old clay lanterns have now been replaced with laser lights and other exquisite and dazzling illuminations adorning the households.

With fast-changing tastes and fancies, the ban on import of the Chinese variety – which again is an amalgamation of the traditional with the modern – might have been quite disappointing to many revellers. But whether the ban is justified or not is a debatable point because we need to spare a thought to the thousands of workers who eke out a livelihood at thousands of cottage industries at the cracker manufacturing hub of India in Sivakasi.

When it comes to economics, Diwali is proving to be bonanza time for all those e-commerce sites which have set up on online kiosks offering a wide range of products from illumination solutions to crackers sweets.

According to estimates, Diwali sales are projected to be around Rs 20, 000 crore, which reflects an ever increasing spending power. One conspicuous and healthy trend that is being observed during the last two years is the decreasing noise levels with revellers opting for noiseless and more colourful crackers, compared to the high decibel varieties. The growing awareness can be attributed to the persistent and sustained campaigns being carried out by activists and NGOs.

Another significant transformation being observed over the years is the lack of lack of prelude to the festivities. During the good old days, Diwali was preceded by almost weeklong bursting of crackers. But, escalating prices of both crackers as also other essentials have resulted in celebrating Diwali on a more subdued scale and the festivities are now restricted to the D-day. But, either way, one factor that has remained constant is the enduring spirit of Diwali and the undiluted enthusiasm with which the festival is celebrated.

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