Let me start with a bit of nostalgia. Dussehra in my childhood meant autumn vacations, 10 days of performing of Ram Lila by amateur artists, burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad, setting off of winters with weather becoming mildly cold in mornings and evenings, mandatory consumption of jalebis and all that.
My first major shift from Delhi was to Kolkata. In Kolkata it meant a long list of holidays when everything came to a grinding halt, beautiful Pandals housing beautiful Durga statues, pandal hopping, snacking and complete immersion into the festive spirit.
Mumbai, my home for last 2 decades has an altogether new connotation of Dussehra. Here it’s all about celebration by dancing and eating. It’s as if the whole city, recovering from the spirit of the favourite lord Ganpati, now getting immersed in seeking blessings of the most affectionate Ma Durga or Ambey or Vaishnodevi or with whatever name you want to call her.
Historically, there are three reasons for celebrating Dussehra – slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama, Killing of all Kuru warriors plus 1 lakh soldiers by Arjuna and assassination of buffalo demon Mahishasura by Ma Durga. All represent victory of good over evil.
Let’s all kill the Ravana like demons of communalism, hatred, narrow mindedness, dishonesty, avarice, selfishness etc that have made us their abode and make ourselves and our environment clean, green and happy!
Happy Dussehra to all !