THE HUSH HUSH DIARY

A beautiful story to teach our kids how to be safe this Diwali by Dr. Ashish Gupta

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Dear readers

Diwali is round the corner. So THHD is all geared up to use its power to communicate with its readers in helping them stay safe and well informed about the Do’s and Dont’s of this festival. While our motto will always be – ‘GO GREEN’, meaning no crackers, no lanterns, no unnecessary wastage of oil and electricity, some of you with kids in house may still plan to burn a few crackers for fun. Here is a story that we wish you would read to your kids before you do so.

Our special thanks to Dr Ashish Gupta, Senior Consultant & Head, Dept. of Plastic, Micovascular and Cosmetic Surgery, S.P.S. (Apollo) Hospitals, Ludhiana for contributing this story and helping us raise awareness on this very important topic. 

This story is about an elder brother Avyukt and his younger sister Anika, who are going to celebrate Diwali. Through this story they teach us how to differentiate the rights from the wrongs in our celebrations.

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Once upon a time there was a house in Ludhiana, where lived, Avyukt and Anika. It was the auspicious night of Deepavali when all were getting ready for the celebrations of the festival of lights. Avyukt changed from his beautiful Kurta Pyjama into a smart pair of jeans and shirt and he told Anika “Do not wear loose clothes as they can catch fire from the candles and the firecrackers.”

They both sat down with their parents for the pooja and Anika grabbed the box of matches and put it in her pocket with a string of firecrackers in her other pocket. Avyukt told her that Children should not play with fire or they can get hurt and she Should not keep firecrackers in her pocket as they can go off causing her injury.

Once the Pooja was over, their mother told them to take the thali of Diyas and keep one in every dark corner of the house. Anika was enthralled by the glittering light of the diyas and wanted Avyukt to keep one in her room next to her teddy bears. Avyukt said, “No we shall Not keep burning diyas in the room as the curtains and soft toys can catch fire.”

After keeping all the diyas around the house Anika was excited that she will get to burst crackers with her elder brother under the watchful eyes of their parents. Avyukt got all the crackers and kept them in a room away from the candles. Then he got two buckets and a tall wide base bottle. Anika was surprised why he is doing that and asked him. Avyukt said, “One bucket I’ll keep in the corner where we will discard all the sparkles once they are done and the other I will fill up with water so that if anything catches fire I can pour the bucket of water over it to douse the fire. The bottle is for the rockets that I will fire up with a phooljhari (sparkle) from a safe distance.

All this while Anika was holding an Anaar (Flowerpot) in her hand and as soon as she got hold of a Phooljhari she started to light it up. Avyukt suddenly shouted, “No lighting the crackers in your hand. If they burst they will cause a lot of injury.”

Anika was enthralled by the beauty of the Chakkri and started jumping across it when she got reprimanded again. Exasperated, she said, “How can I have any fun when you don’t let me do anything.” Avyukt said, “You can burn your feet and your dress from the sparkles that come out. See even our great grandfather is wearing shoes while sitting on the chair because he has diabetes and he cannot feel his feet. He will not know if they get burnt, that’s why he is wearing shoes. ”

She said, “Is there anything else also you need to tell me?” Avyukt replied in a somber voice, “Always be aware of your surroundings. Be careful that someone may be lighting a cracker behind you. Avoid putting boxes over lit bombs as they become projectiles when the bomb goes off.”

As the penultimate phooljhari was about to go off a few maverick sparkles fell on Anika’s hand and she cried out in pain. Avyukt called out for help and put her hand under running tap water. The Maid, who was on her phone the whole time, suddenly realized that something bad had happened and rushed to get toothpaste to sooth her pain. Before she could apply it, their parents came up. Her mother removed Anika’s bangles and rings which could cause more pain when the swelling would set in and her father got her painkiller syrup to ease her pain. While his mother was comforting Anika with a local anaesthetic gel, Avyukt asked his father, “If her clothes had caught fire, then what should have I done dad?”

Seeing his concern and curiosity his father replied, “If anything like that happens, Do Not Run. Best thing is to Stop, Drop and Roll. Pour water to douse the fire and remove all the burnt clothes to stop the burning process and cover the patient in a clean sheet. Do not apply toothpaste, mehndi or haldi on the burnt area because when it dries it causes even more pain and the risk of infection becomes high. It is necessary to Consult a Plastic Surgeon for treatment and further course of action so that later there are no scars.

By the time his lesson on First Aid in Burns was over, Anika was already clamoring for the last phooljhari before her brother could get to it. With a coy smile she said, “Main Choti Hun Na!!” (I am your younger sister, ya)

HAVE A SAFE AND A HAPPY DIWALI

Thank you Dr Ashish for this wonderful way to impart wisdom to our young ones. Wishing all our readers a very HAPPY AND SAFE DIWALI!

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