India is the land of diversity, people from all religions live here. We spread a beautiful message of unity by celebrating each religion’s festival. Unlike some other nations we value humanity above all. Festivals bring reasons to smile, laugh, and share, getting dressed up, meeting friends, distributing gifts & many more.

True spirit of festivals cannot be relished alone. Extent of cheerfulness is directly proportional to the number of people you are celebrating with. More the number of people around you, an automatic euphoria creates, to be indulged in.  Though these festivals come every year but each one of us wants to celebrate them in distinctive & exceptional way than the previous year. Sometime our experiments with them gives us immense pleasure, or we just brood over pretty simple things of which if we had taken care of, then would have not spoilt the whole festive mood. Here are some tips to make your festivals more than just unforgettable.

Eating Unhealthy

I strongly believe we Indians are real foodies; however we may try to show off that how strict we are with our diet plans, but during festivities we believe in serving & being served with a buffet full of temptations. “Atithi devo bhav” is the traditional ritual of our country. During festivities we make many short visits to our near & dear ones in a single day. We are offered with a variety of snacks, drinks loaded with sugar & calories but abundant of affection too, which makes it difficult to say ‘No’. Sometimes we might find ourselves stuffed forcefully with homemade “laddoos”. It is actually impossible to give up all your cravings, that is where we need to keep a watch on what we eat. Forget about losing but there is an awesome possibility of gaining weight these days. Here I am to suggest few simple tips to avoid gaining festive weight or ways to calm your oozing cravings.

  • Never skip your meals especially breakfast.
  • Incorporate loads of fibrous food like fruits & raw veggies which gives you a sense of fulfillment. Carry some, while travelling as you never know for how long you may get stuck in traffic.
  • Avoid sugary, fizzy high calorie drinks; instead use natural sugar-free substitutes like lemon water, coconut water, Jaljeera drink, Coffee without sugar, green tea or any of your choice.
  • When it comes to your favourite food, don’t just starve, and serve yourself with small portions. Using small plates instead of the bigger ones can give your lesser quantity food a visual of more.
  • Do not leave empty stomach out of home. Grab anything healthy along with like nuts, fruit etc.
  • Sometimes we get so much engrossed in routine-work throughout the day & do not get time to cook healthy home-made food. We can try cooking some extra in the morning. It is always better to feed easy to your stomach rather than having catastrophic burgers or pizzas to curb or satisfy your hunger.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ without hurting the feelings of your loved ones.
  • Don’t forget to take daily routine dose of work-out.

Getting Stuck In Traffic

One can easily notice glitter wrapped gifts in private vehicles during Diwali. During festivals it seems as if everyone is out in their vehicles & some shopping competition is going on in markets. Roads become longer & never ending. Sometimes it takes hours to cover distance of 15-20 minutes, which just ruins the mood, brings irritation, impatience. Markets get congested due to mixed traffic. Parking vehicles in market area adds oil to fire & makes the situation worse. It gets difficult for pedestrians also to commute comfortably. Generally at such places we can notice people fight over issues of parking or dents on their vehicles caused due to carelessness of others. Daily commuting also becomes harassment. Pain of traffic can be lightened following certain ways.

  • Use convenient ways of public transport whichever suits you like buses, metro etc.
  • Even an auto rickshaw is also not a bad option. I found them tricky, as they use shortcuts many times & can get into small streets where getting your car is next to impossible. They may not be as comfortable as your own vehicle but gives you relaxation from exhaustion of pressing clutch & accelerators. For a second if you find them expensive, think of the fuel cost your vehicle would be gulping to sustain in hours long traffic. It also solves the problem of finding a “safe & not very far” parking zone for your vehicle.
  • Avoid visiting anyone or shopping at just peak hours.
  • Use car pool for daily commuting.
  • I even preferred online shopping this year.
  • Park your vehicle away from market area, to avoid being blocked by other vehicles and due to crowd, vehicles also move in a snail like speed.
  • Send gifts at far off places via post.

It happened with me last year when I was just 15-20 minutes away from my destination. It took me an hour & forty minutes in my car due to traffic moving inch by inch. Like each coin has two sides, having a personal vehicle is useful but at times it becomes a curse when you are caught in traffic but can’t leave the vehicle & just walk away.

Drink & Drive

Drinking too much & driving is not the problem with youngsters only. Allowing yourself to drink more than you can take because of festivals & then driving brings you to the risk of ruining your life. This risk includes the lives of those who are there on board with you & those innocents too who are on road. Drink & drive is never safe & can lead to any kind of consequences of permanent injury, death, penalties, imprisonment. Even after so many social awareness campaigns, hundreds of such cases are recorded. Pleasure of drinking mixed with driving can bring devastating results for many.

Rather than regretting later it is better to either call for a cab, assist the drunk person to their home or offering them a stay at your place whichever way is convenient to you. If you find someone drunk & driving rash shouldn’t hesitate & inform the police immediately. It is advisable to always plan such outings with either by hiring a driver or taking the help of some friend.

Festivals come with bundles of joy & excitement but one decision taken in over excitement, when you are not in your complete senses can land your life in miserable mess or perhaps can leave you to the doors of hell.

Piling Up Home With Unnecessary Things

Festivals like Diwali include a lot of shopping. Preparation of this festival starts with an unending list, which generally includes decors, new clothing’s, gifts for friend & family, crackers & what not. Often we overdo with it. We replace things which actually need not to be & sometimes we end up stocking things more than they are required. For Upper class, festivals bring reason to change the interiors; they spend millions just to maintain the trends & status. This behavior travels down the hierarchy status-wise but the extent of change varies as per the budget. Such unnecessary changes put pressure on our natural resources. I have noticed people buy things not out of need every time but to beat the competition or show off their extravagant lifestyle amongst their known. Seeing your neighbors buying LCD, new iPhone, Couch can kill the game. Stretching your budget now can result into repercussions.

Shopping therapy is also used as stress buster, but spending in an irrational way would cut your pocket only. Just like “weight loss” regime “Save more” also needs self control & ability to judge on “Do we actually need this right now?” It’s never too early nor too late to judge on miserable investments we make for celebration of 3-4 hours.

Another reason of excess shopping during festivals are the deals offered everywhere in media, TV, newspapers, websites etc. This makes you fall into temptation of shopping. People use credit cards to shop more than they can afford, which they regret later. Shopping is mostly not a cup of tea for men. Women generally love to shop till they drop during festivals. Someone has said nicely:

“Man go shopping to buy what they want……Women go shopping to find what they want”

Crackers & Lighting

Other than giving blinding light & dumbening sounds for a moment, these crackers give no other joy if used in excess. Pollution caused by them is calculated every year still we do not stop using them. We are always ready to raise our finger on government to reduce pollution but are we contributing to it? It has become a status symbol on festivals & even on weddings to use expensive & fancy crackers not considering their effects on environment, infants & animals. Their smoke fills in your lungs & chokes them. It becomes hell for asthma patients to breathe for many days due to polluted air. Sometimes these crackers fall in slum area & cause fire in their houses. Ironically when we celebrate & burn crackers in our homes, residents of these slums cannot sleep whole night; guarding their houses from such crackers. A little carelessness in using them causes major injuries. Day after Diwali, streets and roads are seen fully littered with wrappers & explosive leftovers of crackers.

In my childhood we used to lit earthen diyas everywhere in house, very rare people would decorate their houses with electric lights then. Earthen diyas have replaced Chinese lights nowadays. Along with crackers it is also a part of competition to use fanciest lights now. Due to usage of these lights only, sale of earthen diyas has touched grounds & affected those poor earthen pot makers. Moreover these lights cause heavy electricity consumption too.

Shortening Distances

Festivals are not only about shopping, meeting friends & having fun. They add charm to our life. Life has become stressful & it is difficult to meet all obligations in life. That creates stress in relations also which only deepens if not treated timely. Festivals are best time to take a step ahead & finish such frictions. Deals to dilute hatred are also offered only on special occasions & festivals. So keeping your self-pride aside for a moment, try to finish gaps with those who have become distant now. Festivals are like opportunities to come closer, giving another chance to improve relations.

Safety Measures

Above all fun most important thing is to have an overall amazing experience.

Be around your kids while they burn crackers.

Never leave windows open if you are going out.

Keep first aid & water bucket ready in case of emergency.

Try & not to get involved in gambling in excitement.

Keep yourself away from adulterated sweets which are common during festivities.

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