Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Dassera!

It’s that time of the year again when the whole country revels in festive euphoria from Dassera to Diwali! For kids like Abhay….Dassera means holidays for school and so without wasting any time…..Abhay was packed off to his grandparents’ farm a day earlier than the start of his vacations! J When I was growing up, along with vacations, Dassera meant attending  the Dassera doll display at neighbor's houses where my mother would have  me sing a bhajan or two, much to my   irritation! Of course, with Dassera events focused on celebrating the Goddess shakti, I cant expect Abhay to be invited for a traditional kumkum ceremony at a neighbor's house, nevertheless it feels like déjavu when I find him fussing the same way as I did when asked to sing a devotional bhajan!  Serves you right ... my mother will say!:)) Anyway, after a week at his grandparents’ farm house at Dharmasthala, Abhay is back in Bangalore for day before we head out to go on our annual Bharat Darshan tour this time to Aurangabad-Ajantha-Ellora- Shirdi.   Another integral part of Dassera in Karnataka is the Ayudha Pooja, which originated as a worship of weapons and tools and is now   observed by worshipping vehicles and    other equipments. Since we will be travelling on the day of Ayudha Pooja which falls on the ninth day of Dassera, we performed the same today, before embarking on our weeklong tour. Of course, the most important vehicle to be venerated was Abhay's own little two wheeler!:)) 

On the occasion of Dassera, I didn't have time to look out for a book, but nevertheless found a nice little story on the quick read section of this week's Young World titled "Conquering the Demon" by Ramapriya Ayyer. Manickram, a sculptor by profession, was busy touching up the idols of Durga for this year's Durga Pooja. As Manickram already had huge orders on hand, he had turned down the order of a powerful merchant named Bikram Seth, who always forced artisans to part with their idols at ridiculously low prices. Bikram Seth did not take it well. One day when Manickram came to work in the morning, he found his workshop ransacked with all the idols gone. Manickram knew who was responsible and just as he was about to decide what to do, a little boy came up asking for his help as his father was missing and his mother was ill. Just as he was about help the boy, it turned out that the boy was none other than Bikram Seth's son. Though Bikram Seth was the man responsible for all his misery, Manickram didn't let vengeance get the better of him and got medical help for the boy's mother. The boy then pleaded with Manickram to help him find his father, Bikram Seth. On enquiries, Manickram found that Bikram Seth has been arrested by the police for stealing idols. Bikram Seth feels humbled by Manickram's magnanimity as he is rescued from the police station that in turn brings a change of heart  in him for he returns all the idols to Manickram. So Manickram had not only rescued Bikram Seth from the police but helped Bikram Seth to conquer his demon from within.... just as Goddess Durga conquered Mahishasura during Navratri. So here's hoping all of you conquer your own demons this Navratri! Wishing everyone a Happy Dassera!

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