Thursday, 23 October 2014

On Diwali at the academy

Diwali/Deepawali at the academy was a semi-festive occasion. The lunch brought the batch together. There were activities by the Fine Arts Club which kept the artistically inclined occupied for the day. Like rangoli and painting. The participants must be appreciated for their efforts. Here are few examples of their works.
To abstraction

Wishing well

Rangoli prepared by the OTs
A sample of the fireworks show

Cross current of fireworks
The artistically challenged like me spent the day lazing, recovering from the hectic non-reading for the mid term exam.

There were attempts made to decorate parts of the common areas with diyas. They were valiant efforts by few people. However, without almost anal retentive level planning, illumination of wide open spaces is a tough proposition. As a KGPian and that too from RK Hall I can say this with certain level of confidence. One only needs to see illumination from KGP to know what they are missing when trying to do anything with diyas. Yes, Diwali is a legitimate reason to get senti about KGP.

The fireworks show was good while it lasted, which, like most crushes, was for a woefully short duration. However, efforts to procure fireworks and plan on having a resemblance of a fireworks show in itself is reason enough to applaud the efforts.

Lady OTs turned out in dazzling, colourful ethnic wear and were by all accounts brighter than a million diyas put together. Gentlemen OTs, those who made the effort to dress up in ethnic wear, were still not a patch on the ladies. 

What was missing? Sweets! Tonnes of them. I miss the wide assortment of sweets that are de rigueur on Diwali in northern India and the gratuitous stuffing of oneself with as many sweetmeats as possible.
One's family is missed on these festive occasions. For those who could not join their families on account of distances and time and archaic no leave rules of the FC were seen trying their best to be present in the academy mentally too. Their hearts and their minds were with their families, their loved ones.
I found a rather curious happening as regards the ITBP guards posted at various points of the campus. Yesterday, few guards were overheard speculating on their chances of getting a day off on Diwali. One was unpleasantly surprised to find guards of a particular community having been posted for the sentry duties today. The motive may have been pious, but the intention can be misconstrued a thousand ways. Such practices are likely to reinforce expectations and behaviours that are contrary to the ethos of the uniformed forces. This is a dangerous path to go down.

How would you as a civil servant deal with such situations? Would you opt for convenience over hard choices? How would you handle the demands for leave from all quarters on such hot holidays?

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