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D Diwali of Indiana Zones

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Major Akhill Pratap
Major Akhill Pratap, an ex-Indian Army Officer, is a speaker, columnist, author and an entrepreneur. He had been a soldier, by choice, worked with corporates, by chance and is a storyteller, by character. Educationally qualified from XLRI, Jamshedpur & IISWBM, Calcutta, Akhill comes from one of the erstwhile Royal Families Of India.

I admit, I am from one of the most polluted zones in the world.
I admit, I am from a third class (read – world, for – class) zone.
I admit, I am from Indiana Zones..

..but, I am an Indiana.
I love my Diwali.


Diwali is not a festival for Indianas. It is an emotion. An emotion which binds one of the most complex zones of this world. Indians do not speak the same language in their zone (in fact, they do not have a zonal language), they do not eat the same (they usually eat each other), they do not share gods, they are largely biased in their outlook towards each other and the list goes on and on but mind you, they share emotions. You play around with Diwali, you play around with them. Please do not play with or play the fool. They are not fools. They are just a highly emotional set of animals.

Did I forget to introduce myself before sucking you into my world? See, I just said we are highly emotional. Never mind, nobody’s perfect.

Do you remember the old story that starts with ‘A for Ass’?
Well, I am the one and here`s the story.


I am an ass and I live in a jungle called Indiana Zones. We are one of the oldest animal kingdoms of this world. We were a land of milk and honey till one day a gentle human called Indiana Jones came calling. You would now know why is our land called Indiana Zones. It was his call. More about that later. Coming back to the elephant in my jungle or rather, elephant in the room.

In the zone of pollution, why is Diwali the fall guy?

Being a donkey, I would not know much, but the way I look at it, pollution is defined as the price for development. Indiana Zones is working hard, since 73 years only, to graduate from the third world tag to at least two-and-a-half-world. Controlling pollution is one of the key index but then the first world zones do not ban a few hours of fireworks, as a measure to curb pollution. There are developed zones called US of Animals, Mandarin (duck) land and The Wolf land etc where firecrackers are synonymous to celebrations. These zones fight pollution as well but they fight where it matters. They are smarter and rightly deserve to be called the first world zone. Let`s mine some data.


As per Zones Health Organisation (ZHO) there are five major sources of pollution – industrial, residential (cooking on coal, wood etc), fuel (generators etc), vehicles and agricultural waste. As per Kharvard University, stubble burning increases air pollution, in the capital of Indiana Zones, by around 50% in winter season. As per Indiana Zones Pollution Control Board (IZPCB), Diwali is not a significant pollutant and the contributors of air pollutants in our land are vehicles (72%), industry (20%) and domestic (8%). This year, Indiana Zones passed 6 billion bucks for stubble burning management. This can be construed as passing the buck or paying up our bucks like antelopes.

Picking up the biggest festival of Indiana Zones, amongst all reasons of pollution, is bizarre. There are plenty more fish in the sea, as Belly Bear says. Increase animal transport and control vehicle emissions, close brick kilns and fuel generators in polluted areas, create animal awareness etc. But, you would not go for it. Know why? Simply because it is all about the path of least resistance. In a land known for its culture, Indianas would not unite for a cultural festival but they would protest, if their amenities are impacted. But then, does a few hours of fireworks impact the pollution graph? Well, the data does not say so. So, what’s the point, my lion king?

Pollution is like love. It is not in the air, it is in the heart; deep within us. The attitude of Indianas needs a change, too. Psychology says behaviour can be changed, not the attitude. Even if behaviour changes, to begin with, it would matter to Indiana Zones. I told the same to Virginia Vulture and to that selfish Serpent, Sswarthhi. Their lack of awareness, love for convenience and self-serving attitude was costing the whole of Indiana Zones and its future. Why deprive our younsters, the future of Indiana Zones, of their culture? DiwAli without firecrackers is like MdAli without the punch. Let there be light, I mean let there be Diwali but they dissed and dismissed me. I ran to Dear Deer and saved my life (so that they target him, not me).

I know you would be wondering what have animals got to do with Diwali. Animals dread fire, they don’t cook, they don’t drive, they don’t run industries, then why on earth are they bothered? You see darlings, all humans are animals. Albeit with two legs. They come from us, they exhibit our traits, they eat each other, they are territorial, they are deceptive, they are more dangerous than loveable, blah, blah, blah. Yes, we can not smile like humans and they can not be content with life like us. But we share the circle of life, we share pollution. They are us, we are them.

Anyways, to hell with humans. 

Meanwhile, in want of Diwali, I am gonna take my foals and family to a movie this festive season. A movie called “Django Chained”. Quite coincidental, isn’t it? Our Diwali is like Django. The ‘D’ is silent.

Disclaimer: If you perceive, this is about the most popular festival of Hinduism or India and  Indianas are Indians, US of Animals is USA, Mandarin (duck) land is China, The Wolf land is Italy and if you wish to apply analogy and metaphors to this story, remember that what I see as 9 may be 6 to you. Happy Diwali!

Story – Major Akhill Pratap

Image courtesy: Google Inc. 
Copyright © Akhill Pratap | 2019

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Major Akhill Pratap
Major Akhill Pratap, an ex-Indian Army Officer, is a speaker, columnist, author and an entrepreneur. He had been a soldier, by choice, worked with corporates, by chance and is a storyteller, by character. Educationally qualified from XLRI, Jamshedpur & IISWBM, Calcutta, Akhill comes from one of the erstwhile Royal Families Of India.

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