Amid cheers by amazed spectators, Delhi's famed Connaught Place on Saturday was witness to a mega laser show organised by the Arvind Kejriwal government to encourage people shun crackers to cut down pollution in the national capital.
At the inaugural session, Chief Minister Kejriwal said that every year people would burst firecrackers in large numbers days ahead of Diwali, but this time, he has noticed a change.
"I have not heard a single firecracker being burst in the capital and it is a good start," he said.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was also present as the four-day event, named "Dilli ki Diwali", kick-started in Central Park in presence of hundreds of people.
The show with lasers beaming in sync with patriotic songs and audible from Ramayana was nothing short of a mega party on the streets for Delhiites who came from far and beyond.
"Today, the entire city has gathered to celebrate community Diwali. It is the first time something of this kind has happened," said Sisodia, seeking feedback to improve ways to celebrate the festival.
However, traders at Connaught Place said that their business was down by 70-80 per cent due to the closure of a few roads and parking slots for the laser show.
The circles of Connaught Place and adjoining areas were decked up with lights and people from all walks of life thronged the heart of the city to witness the unique show.
"It is the first time that a laser show is being organised and it's in the central location of Delhi, so I along with my family decided to begin our Diwali celebration right from here and contribute our bid," said Shilpa Yadav.
Ajay Kumar along with his family came all the way from Sonipat in Haryana to enjoy the laser show.
"It is the first time that something of this kind was happening. So, more than me, my children were excited to attend the event instead of bursting firecrackers. The music is good and it's a fantastic show," he said.
Another Delhi resident, Alok Kumar said it's a good alternative to firecrackers and he welcomes the idea of community Diwali.
"The laser show should not be restricted to Central Park. In future, the government should organise such events in other locations as well," he said.
Anamika Chaturvedi who came from Noida said she thoroughly enjoyed the show and considered it as one of the best alternatives to firecrackers.
"The laser show was excellent and I enjoyed it. Arrangements were also good. It's the first time that something of this sort has been organised. The music was good, the vibe was positive. We had an option this time so I wanted to explore it and lets give feedback to come up with such initiatives," she said.
Class IX student Kriti said she restrained herself from bursting crackers by engaging in other activities.
"It was a conscious decision to not burst firecrackers. Something that I have been practising it since last year. Instead, I engaged in making paper crackers and rangoli. It is important to save our environment and contribute our bit in improving the air-quality," she said.
Food courts and other shops were also set up for the revellers. However, many complained that they could not attend the show despite coming on time and waiting in line.