Dussehra a festival of victory, also called Vijayadashami marks the triumph of Rama, an Avatar of Vishnu, over Ravana. Through popular T.V shows, movies, comics and books ever written on the great epic, we all have a sizeable idea of the abduction that led to Ravana’s defeat at the hands of Lord Rama.
Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit words Dasha (“ten”) and hara (“defeat”).
To commemorate the legendary saga as old as time, Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Ashina (September-October), which happens to be the seventh month according to the Hindu Calendar.
Dussehra culminates the Nine Day Navratri festival and is celebrated with full zest and pomp marking the triumph of good over evil.
The Dussehra from the good old childhood
Celebrated for different reasons in different parts of the country, the message of the great festival remains the same. While the meaning and the wholesome life lessons the festival has to offer go way beyond all understanding, the predominant objective of every child who has grown up to savour the age-old traditions of India would be to grab the chance of visiting a Dussehra Mela by its very lapels.
The great fervour and fanfare with which the day is celebrated may undoubtedly be etched in every grown up’s memory, especially the ones who are known in their close-knit group as the main coordinator. The one who literally gets everybody together to make festivities happen at a profuse scale.
If you are someone who finds themselves to be grinning from ear to ear thinking about the hurdles you had to overcome and the rancorous speeches you had to dodge to earn yourself an outing with your friends on Dussehra then your childhood was believably fantastic.
Children these days, sadly enough may not get to experience what we had the various glorious opportunities to be exposed to thanks to the simpler times that to date continue to be our sole escape.
The Dussehra Mela
Now who could possibly forget the awe-inspiring 10-day long enactment cum storytelling for kids of the epic saga of Rama and Ravana at the Ram Lila with the thundering applause at the end to pay tribute to the legend of Rama?
Or who could ever possibly forget the picturesque stalls at the Melas serving as a window opening up to the intensely rich culture of India with all the handicrafts and traditional knick-knacks at display?
The life-size effigies of Ravana, Meghnada (Ravana’s son) and Kumbh Karana (Ravana’s brother) set ablaze, astoundingly at the same time everywhere, the taking turns to get on the Ferris wheel or the Merry-go-round, the pooling of money to be able to afford the appetizing yet small portions of treats only to share amongst a large group of friends. The memories of the yesteryears may not have been well photographed due to the lack of adequate means but are totally worth going over time and again.
The long autumn breaks we all used to wait for to be able to commence the festivities high-spiritedly may not be something our children would necessarily get to experience especially this year, but that doesn’t mean they cannot get a little peek into the fond memories a better part of our childhood is made of.
2020 is the year which has changed the course of our lives but we still can use it as an opportunity to reconnect with our roots. Little moments in life charged with Nostalgia help us understand the concept of continuity and the power of change.
Times may change, circumstances may evolve but reminiscing about the instances that make you who you are is always an uplifting and illuminating experience.
Let’s take this time to tell our children the epic stories that made our childhood what it was. Let’s get them acquainted with the simple pleasures of the simpler yet wholesome times.
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