Kids.. Pop corns.. Fire.. and Lohri!

Inside the black hole

Lohri (Punjabi: ਲੋਹੜੀ (Gurmukhi), लोहड़ी (Devanagari), لوہڑی (Shahmukhi)) (sometimes spelled Lodi) is an extremely popular winter festival in India, especially North India. Lohri is usually celebrated in the outdoors by friends and family who get together and have a bonfire in the evening. Lohri signifies onset of intense winter in Punjab and surrounding areas. Cold weather is good for wheat hence farmers celebrate Lohri so that their crops lead to a good harvest.

During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a thief in folklore who helps thr and fights for their rights. These children are given sweets and savories, and occasionally, money. These collections are known as Lohri, and they are distributed at night during the festival. Some may be offered to the sacred fire. Peanuts, popcorn and other food items are also thrown into the fire as an offering to the God of Fire, Agni.(This part of the post was directly taken from wikipedia)

Yesterday, we had this Lohri in my society where Agni was worshipped. We were asked to throw peanuts, popcorn in the fire. There were many children in our society who were pretty excited about this. They were taking handful of popcorns and throwing it in the fire. The elders were doing the same. But  one thing was very disturbing. It was not that the food items were thrown in the fire, it was about the items that was not religiously lucky enough to reach the fire. It was about the large pile of popcorns lying in the mud around the fire (as you can see in the photo taken by me)

In the pic, you can see the children of India; nothing surprising about them. The one on the closer side of the fire is throwing the items as the offerings, while the children on the other side is picking it up from the mud as their food! Each one is not aware of the actual meaning. The one who is throwing is not considering it as food, while the other who is eating is not considering it as an offering. The one was picking pop corns from the vessel and was throwing it in the fire, while the other was picking it from the mud, and eating it! Only common thing amongst them was, they were children, some were kids of the parents who were living in the society, while the others were the kids of the construction workers.

As a silent observer, I saw this scene. Like almost all Indians, I will forget this scene. But one thing I did while going, I gave the whole vessel of pop corns when no one was seeing. The kids grabbed them and ran away smilling.

12 Responses to “Kids.. Pop corns.. Fire.. and Lohri!”

  1. 1 Ankit
    January 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Conscious observation indeed! Giving a bowl of pop-corns to those children must’ve made you happy ? let me add .. ‘momentarily’ happy? Thats good! But why to be like others who forget such deeds of their own ? I know I am the exact same. We realize that they should uplifted? But, why is this ‘realization’ so momentary? I think the time has come to stop this ‘realize-feel bad-forget’ activity. Feeling bad for some moments wont help them! A pop-corn is too light a morsel to fill them up. You gave the pop-corn to them, you would’ve given the chikki, the undhiyu (even one bowl of it would’ve made a bigger difference). I believe lets not lie to ourselves. Lets face the reality that no one bothers to care for them. Care for them to an extent that will make them happy. Here happy doesnt mean feeling good on getting food for sometime. Food is a temporary need as they say. It doesnt last. Care for them is to find something better, more concrete and permanent resource. I dont know how to do that, but I am keen on doing that !
    P.S:- Good analogies made! Good use of words!

  2. January 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Either change the system, or be the silent observer! I fall in the second category. And I don’t blame anybody for my failure not to fall in the right one, I know I can. But I am too selfish to do that. I can’t leave my job/studies to fight for this cause. Because I do differentiate between my future children and these. And I have every right to do so!

    “Give me 10lac per year to fight against such unfortunate incidents” – I will do it
    “Give me bonus of 1lac if I am able to complete such target” – I will do it.

    This is not my voice, this is the voice of each and every youth. It is quiet obvious. We have struggled so hard in this competition. Few of us have taken loans, who will care for such causes. and who will provide will resources, permanent & concrete, is a million dollar question!

    But it is really a good sign that the young generation like you is thinking in this direction. Thinking is the start of the process or revolution. Thinking results in speaking/writing which results into reading which further results into an action!

    All the best!

    • 3 Ankit
      January 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      You believe in action, yet you start off being a cliched ! What kind of a state of thought is that? Dont you think this is a shade of grey ? I think it is.

      • January 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        no. it is not. Some fights are fought be pen(not literally in this case)! If I am able to inspire one such ankit to do something against the system, I would consider myself successful!

  3. 5 Ankit
    January 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Stay in the system, change the system – Directly! People will get influenced automatically.

    • January 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Atul Kulkarni says the same thing at the end of “page 3”.. chor saala! 😛

    • January 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

      I believe change has to come from outside the political system. U can’t operate withing the system without accepting its culture – Shekhar kapoor

  4. 8 Shweta
    January 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Intense.Apoorva, You’ve made a keen observation & have aptly connected the Lohri festival celebration you witnessed to the existing problems of India, poverty being one of the throbbing ones.
    Definitely, as someone here has rightly said, some plan of action surely needs to be taken, but the fact remains that, “Inspiration leads to action”. I am sure, this article will be one of the mediums for many of us to do something for these poor kids.

    • January 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      🙂 🙂 🙂 thanks for the support! every single word you said is appreciated!

  5. March 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I like the valuable information you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check once more right here regularly. I’m fairly sure I’ll learn many new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

  6. July 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Yes! Finally someone writes about IT Support Enfield.

    • July 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Do you really think it is related to IT? 😛

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