Tricking Or Treating: The Indian Scenario

Samyuktha Shiva, I Year B.A. English
Sera Grace John, I Year B.A. English
Illustration by Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English

Halloween: the festival that celebrates mystery, magic and, well, anything and everything that is eerie and spooky. The very term reminds us of kids with tipsy panama and black cloaks. It usually brings a cunning smile on the masked and painted faces of excited kids, and a sigh of impending anxiety on those of parents awaiting a battalion of Barbies and Beasts. Fun to the little, hell to the old!

It is said that every October 31st night, the spirits from above (or below) visit Earth and strike up conversations with the living (not a very enjoyable conversation, I bet). While that notion sounds far-fetched, that is the thought that started the festival: All Hallows’ Evening a.k.a Halloween!

Anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock the past century knows all about Halloween. There is, almost always, one episode per season focused entirely on Halloween in every other American sitcom, and countless possessed dolls, Harley Quinn and IT costumes that make Halloween hard to miss.

Aside from throwing huge parties so that everyone can play ‘dress-up’, Halloween also means Trick-or-treating. For those of you who are alien to this concept, it basically means sending your children to travel house-to-house, and yell out “Trick or treat” while asking for candy.

Now, try to picture this in India. Emulating a foreign custom like Halloween is likely to be a Herculean task in this generation of protective parents. For a country whose parents spend all their time warning their children not to talk to strangers, the whole “house-to-house” thing seems pretty far-fetched. Let’s not even bother getting to the candy-taking part.

Apart from protective parents, there is also the crooked mass of paedophiles and psychopaths who are an Achilles’ heel to the excitement of innocent devils and cherubic witches. While it is ‘Trick or Treat’ that kids shout out, ‘I’ll treat you with a trick’ is what bellows in their mind’s workshop.

Aside from all this, Halloween does sound fun. Wouldn’t a younger you have jumped at the thought of running around with your friends, all dressed up, to get free candy – or what we call “2 rupaiya eclairs”?

Maybe one day, India would be safe enough, and parents will loosen up and actually let their children learn the term “independence”.

Until then, I think all “Halloween in India” is going to be about, is finding another reason to get together and throw a party. This, again, is not that bad, considering it means more celebrations, more fun, and the best part – more food!

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