Happy Deepawali, Papa

Arun Jain

Arun Jain has been working with Customs and Central Excise since March, 1992 and is presently posted as Superintendent of Customs at Ahmedabad. He is a post draduate in Physics (specialized in Electronics) and also did his Masters in Business Administration, both from Gujarat University.

He has been writing small anecdotes in a Facebook Group called Anand Sabha and has come forward with similar writings to be disseminated by the readers of this esteemed and widely read E-Magazine under inourdays.org also.

Editor's note: Shri Arun Jain passed away on January 29, 2020 at a young age. He leaves behind a grieving family: inourdays.org pays a tribute to this smiling cheerful and a good officer of the Department of Customs and Central Excise.

In 2012 my sepoy sent me fulsome quantity of crackers, mostly consisting of innocuous one viz., sparklers, whistlers, cracklers, etc. The sepoy normally did this business during Diwali time. In the meantime, my son Chaitanya, nearly 15 then, was participating in his school campaign against bursting of crackers on the note of preventing both air and noise pollution.

(Chaitanya is now well on his way joining the medical fraternity.)

Before we could go out for bursting crackers, Chaitanya suggested that why don’t they distribute these crackers to the poor on the pavements instead of bursting them. This would give them lot of joy. We burst them every on every Diwali every year.

I agreed with him whole heartedly.

No sooner the Puja concluded, we both rode off on our Honda Activa and started searching for the homes of pavement dwellers.

Chaitanya suggested that we would find plenty of them on IIM road (132 feet ring road dividing IIM Ahmedabad into old and new).

Yes, what he said was correct. We found such families with parents sleeping on the pavements and children loitering on the pavements and some running behind the vehicles, especially the slow ones.

I could see the polythene bags in hands of most of such children, which gave me the feeling that, besides us, there are, people, who were also catering to these sons of lesser gods, being the festive season.

Chaitanya suggested that we should stop and distribute where there a bunch of such kids were gathered.

We soon came upon one such pack and stopped and moved toward one particular kid. But suddenly the bunch grew into crowd. Within seconds we were surrounded by many such boys.

Chaitanya got off the scooter and managed to keep elder ones at bay with younger ones first in the queue. I started rationing my supplies of crackers and ensured that everybody got equal share.

The queue also encompassed two kids who were barely able to walk. Before my apprehension arose, I could see them licking the sparklers thinking them of lollipops.

I could only conclude that we were the first ones to distribute things other than sweets that evening. Howsoever we tried to give each some crackers but still few of them were deprived from our act of charity.

But I could see the sparkle in their eyes and a sense of gratefulness, feeling beyond words. I could gauge the feel of happiness in my son Chaitanya.

I could infer that I would have not got such a delight if we would have burst those crackers back at our home. The happiness of giving is beyond the words I can ruminate.

To add to our further delight, Chaitanya suggested that why don’t we park our scooter at the end of the road and watch these kids enjoy bursting the crackers.

Bursting chakri on Diwali

Soon we could see everybody participating, parents with kids clinging sideways and enjoying the sparklers in their hands. Elder ones were bursting the whistlers and sound making crackers (small mirchi bombs).

Every time the cracker went boom and children screamed with joy at the top of their voices. They danced barefooted around the ground chakris, some even daring to bathe in the falling sparks of anaars.

As the quantity of crackers started diminishing we quietly drove off and we could see some of them waving at us.

“Papa, why don’t we make this a habit every Diwali with more from our family and friends participating and witnessing this event and enjoying this next time?”

And habit they did make.

Father and son bursting crackers on Diwali

Father and son bursting crackers on Diwali



Very touching story Arun ji. I know you are not there in physical form but I am sure somewhere you must be happily seeing your son growing in such acts of charity.

Beautiful and touching is your narration, Arunji. You have inculcated one of the best human qualities in your son and I am sure he will carry forward this legacy. Greatly missed....

He was a very jolly and humble person. I always saw him smiling. Still feel that he is somewhere around us with the same smile. A gentleman by heart, will always remain in memory. Missing you Arun Jain......

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