As the national capital makes a mockery of the Indian legal system on Diwali with its shocking nonchalance to Supreme Court's cracker ban, it is time we address the elephant in the room: the utter negligence of most people towards sustainable environmental practices and their deep-rooted self-centeredness.
Growing up, bursting crackers on the night of Kali Pujo gave me joy like none other. The lights exuding all sorts of multicoloured hues, the night sky breaking into thousands of stars and the happinesses on the faces were unparalleled. The lungs gave out after a while, yet innocent pleasures went on unabashedly. So did things like littering on the road, on railway tracks and not caring about the environment in general. The first time I was asked not to throw empty tea cups on the road, I gladly obliged because it was important to the friend who had asked. It was purely based on emotions and not on own realisations. But maturity changes us no? Giving us the ability to introspect, to distinguish right from wrong? To think beyond ourselves? To "be the change you want to see in the world"?
Yet, on days like today and most other days I am left wondering if compassion is just a word. If altruism exists only in Economics textbooks. And if self-righteousness has indeed driven us to the farthest corner of humanity.