Himansu Shekhar Rout

Diwali, the festival of lights, was celebrated amid traditional fervour, gaiety, and mirth across the country, but for the family of Golak Pradhan, a resident of Bahabalpur in Balasore district, it is a sad day. On this auspicious day, the family goes into a sepulchral silence remembering a tragedy that struck on this day six years ago.

Six years ago, a cracker explosion claimed the lives of Pradhan’s three sons and two granddaughters, apart from six other lives in the village. 

On every Diwali, the Pradhan couple silently sheds tears for their departed sons and granddaughters. The horrific scene of the cracker explosion flashes across their minds. The couple still remembers the tragedy that struck on October 18, 2018, at their house when crackers exploded. Six customers were then buying crackers in the presence of his two sons and two granddaughters. They all died due to a massive explosion.

However, the couple managed to escape with burn injuries. Fortunately, their daughters-in-law were at their parents' house. 

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The burn scars are still visible all over Pradhan’s body which reminds him of the horrific tragedy.
“Now, we two are left to survive in the house and remember the past tragedy that turned our life topsy-turvy,” lamented Pradhan with tears welled up in his eyes.

Jagannath Patra, a local, said that they had never expected such a tragedy will happen in the village. “On this day, when we look back at the tragedy, we forget about the celebrations of Diwali,” he observed.

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