A matter of pride?

Grandeur has always been a major hallmark of any festival in the country, with people splurging on shopping and decorating their homes. On the eve of Deepavali, people take this a step further — they tend to pick up fancy crackers, which often cost a bomb. Is shelling out a lot of money on bursting expensive crackers a matter of social status today? Metrolife speaks to some Bangaloreans to know their perspectives.

Some feel that spending a lot on crackers elevates their social status.Ganesh, a businessman who spends a whopping Rs 80,000 on crackers, says, “Deepavali is the only occasion that I celebrate in the entire year. I do not mind spending a lot of money on crackers because for me, it is the perfect time to spend with my friends and family. And talking about the noise and air pollution caused by crackers, I make it a point to celebrate it in my farm house — which is 40 kilometres away from the City. This isn’t a matter of social status for me — Deepavali is a large affair in our family and we have followed this tradition for many generations now.” Deepavali is a festival of triumph of good over evil — but that message has been lost as many people merely focus on bursting crackers. Sachin Katekar, an event manager, says, “I think the essence of Deepavali is lost, many people just burst crackers. And I have seen people spending extravagant amounts on buying crackers. Spending beyond Rs 20,000 on crackers, I feel, is excessive. I find such people immature.”

Abbas, a professional emcee, adds, “I have seen a lot of people who drive all the way to Hosur and buy crackers worth lakhs and lakhs of rupees. They have to buy the fanciest crackers; they have to compete with their friends, families and neighbours. They do this to elevate their social status. But I am completely against this; if one has to show off his riches, let them do it by giving charity. Spending on crackers is like burning money. I find it extremely stupid.”

Ravi Prakash, a psychologist, says, “It is a normal tendency for humans to compete with one another. People like to flaunt, to outdo others. They all want to be noticed.” He adds, “People crave to be noticed — this is very human. There is no problem with it as long as it is within limits. But beyond a point, when people start getting narcissistic about everything, it is a cause for worry.”

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